Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

350 Jobs Are Lost as Electrical Retailer Empire Direct Fails

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

350 Jobs Are Lost as Electrical Retailer Empire Direct Fails

Article excerpt

Byline: LUCY TOBIN

ANOTHER High Street name has bitten the dust as electrical retailer Empire Direct collapsed into administration with a loss of 350 jobs.

The chain, which has 14 branches, including two in Essex, and a strong online presence, was hit by poor Christmas sales as spending on big purchases such as televisions and washing machines was reined in.

Administrators KPMG reported that Empire Direct had also been affected by the loss of credit insurance, which protects suppliers from the risk of the retailer defaulting on debt.

Last year, the 25-year-old group had a [pounds sterling]152 million turnover but bank overdrafts had hit [pounds sterling]10.9 million. The figures had led directors to warn about "the ongoing availability of overdraft facilities" as a potential risk in accounts filed in March last year. Today, its stores and website have been shut down.

Empire Direct was run and half-owned by Bradford-based Madan Showan, whose personal wealth had been valued at [pounds sterling]50 million. …

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