Dwell look set to go into administration

Upscale furniture store Dwell is on the verge of collapse, taking down with it 350 jobs. The retail chain with 24 stores sells £300 designer coffee tables and £1,500 leather sofas. Advisers Argyll Partners and accountants Duff & Phelps have failed to find a suitable buyer. Duff & Phelps have reportedly been lined up as administrators, but have not been officially appointed.

With a £34m turnover, Dwell’s collapse would add to a list of retail failures this year. Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster were followed by fashion retailer Republic. Britains’s biggest bed retailer Dreams, was bought through a pre-pack in March. These collapses have led to 6000 job losses.

Dwell’s loss went up to £700,000 in 2012, which it felt was due to the slow housing market and low consumer confidence. Since its inception in 2002, Dwell has lost £ 5.6m in three years leading up to January 2012.

Last year, it was on a roll, opening six new stores, including its biggest one at Lakeside Shopping Center in Thurrock. Dwell stores in Tottenham Court and Westfield Stratford were closed on Wednesday morning, going by tweets. Founded as a mail-order business in 2003 by entrepreneur Aamir Ahmad, he has been struggling to wrest back control after having left last year.

What with a significant amount of speculation on the future of Dwell, a spokeswoman of the chain clarifies its stand by saying that they have been working with advisers Argyll Partners and Duff & Phelps to secure working capital for the business.

They are currently in touch with a number of interested parties who value the Dwell brand and product, its huge customer base and multichannel proposition. Further, she adds that Dwell continues with its usual trade, fulfilling customer orders and has not appointed administrators.