Date Published: 18th April 2011
A shop-fitting company based in Saltash, Cornwall has gone into liquidation with the loss of 10 jobs. Ian Walker and Julie Palmer of national insolvency and business recovery specialists Begbies Traynor were appointed Liquidators at a Creditors’ meeting in Exeter on April 8th.
John Richards Shopfitting Ltd was founded 42 years ago and became a highly-regarded retail shop-fitting specialist which won a number of industry awards over the years. The quality of its workmanship, design and delivery earned it a number of high-profile clients, including Marks and Spencer.
However a number of significant changes to the industry over the past five years eroded margins, profits and orders. The entry of low cost manufacturers from Eastern Europe and China, and of large main contractors reacting to the reduction in their traditional markets was compounded by the effects of the Recession of 2008-9.
Business recovered somewhat at the beginning of 2010, with an improved level of confidence from clients, refurbishing work from M&S and commitments from other clients. Unfortunately, once work started on the projects in October of last year, difficulties being experienced by the main contractor impacted severely on the company’s cash flow, leading to a decision, in spite of remedial actions taken by the directors, and after consultation with Begbies Traynor, to place the company into liquidation.
Eighteen of the firm’s employees have been transferred from John Richards Shopfitting Ltd to John Richards Group, while a further 10 have been made redundant.
Ian joined Begbies in 2000 from Pannell Kerr Forster after practicing insolvency for the previous 20 years with Big Four firms. A member of R3 and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (from which he also takes his Insolvency Licence, he is currently a member of the ICAEW Investigation Committee. Over the years, Ian has dealt with all types of insolvency and at least three recessions. Currently, his practice based in Exeter and Plymouth covers the whole of Devon & Cornwall (including the Scilly Isles), together with as much of Somerset and Dorset as he can get away with! He deals with all types of personal and corporate insolvency and also concentrates on pre- and post-lending review work for all the major lending institutions.