26 stores to close as MFI administration is confirmed
MFI said it was "reluctantly" closing the stores at the request of Galiform, the former owner of MFI's retail arm, which acts as guarantor of the rent.
However, Galiform has denied that it requested the closure of the stores.
"Galiform has not requested that MFI close these 26 stores. The administrator requested that MFI reached an agreement with Galiform with respect to these 26 stores before Monday December 1," the company said in a statement.
The retailer said it intends to fulfil or refund all customer orders.
The statement said: "The administration follows the continuing pressure on the home market which has accelerated in recent weeks with sales levels falling further behind prior year levels.
"The company has suffered from severe cash flow pressure as a result of credit insurance being withdrawn across the sector and the general market deterioration, which has led to the failure of certain key suppliers."
Philip Duffy, Geoff Bouchier and Paul Clark of MCR have been appointed joint administrators of the company.
Duffy commented: "Whilst a decision has not been made as to an appropriate exit route and the future of the company, the administrators will be reviewing the possibility of sale of some or all of the company's stores.
"In the meantime all outstanding employee wages have been paid up to date and ongoing wages for retained staff will continue to be paid as an expense of the administration."
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