Electrical goods retailer Empire Direct – which has a store in Nuneaton, Dudley and Loughborough – appointed KPMG administrator yesterday. KPMG said it had been appointed to Empire Direct’s subsidiary Empire Property (UK) Ltd.
The Leeds company traded mainly online but had 14 UK shops, which have closed.
KPMG said 158 of the 350 employees have been made redundant.
The chain’s collapse left customers waiting for goods which may not arrive.
Anyone who has paid but not received an item should get in touch with the administrator through www.empiredirect.co.uk or by calling 0871 472 900.
Mark Firmin, joint administrator and KPMG restructuring partner, said: “We are working hard with the remaining employees to establish a list of customers with outstanding orders and much of our immediate effort will be focused on communicating with them. Within the first few weeks, we are aiming to contact all customers who have paid for goods which they have not received.”
Mr Firmin added: “Empire Direct has been severely affected by the economic downturn and experienced a significant reduction in sales from the middle of last year. The business suffered when credit insurers withdrew cover in October.
“Low stock levels and operating losses mean the business cannot continue to trade in administration.”
The company had been established for 25 years and marketed itself as the UK’s largest independent retailer of electrical goods with a turnover of £150million.
Stores were in Bolton, Bradford, Chingford, Derby, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Leeds, Romford and Wetherby.