Retailer Mattressman to close more than half its stores with 136 jobs lost

Mattressman, North Walsham.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mattressman, North Walsham.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

More than 130 jobs are at risk after a Norfolk retailer became the latest to announce plans to close stores due to a slump in sales.

Mattressman managing director Andrew Kerry Picture: Nick Butcher

Mattressman managing director Andrew Kerry Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Mattressman is to close 14 of its stores across the UK as it retreats back into East Anglia and the Midlands following a period of expansion.

However, its shops in Norwich, North Walsham, Lowestoft, Dereham, Thetford and March will all remain open as part of the company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

A CVA is a restructuring process which allows a company to get rid of loss making stores and reduce rents to enable it to carry on trading.

The process is being overseen by insolvency specialists McTear Williams and Wood who will put the proposal to creditors to vote on.

The company will continue to trade and has said all outstanding orders should be fulfilled but where it is not possible customers will receive their money back.

Mattressman said it thanked every employee for their service and dedication before and during the difficult times.

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Director Andrew Kerry said: 'Unfortunately sometimes in business you have to go backwards to go forwards. The CVA will enable us to remodel our business to match the changing retail environment.

'We have always been very successful online and we are going to concentrate on that and smaller stores in East Anglia which have always worked well.

'All our staff are focused on delivering business as usual and we are optimistic about the future.'

The company ran into several issues over the last 12 months which culminated in a 15% drop in like-for-like sales in April and May, turning a £1.1m profit in 2017 into a £2.6m loss for the year to March 31.

Stores will close by July 2 in Ipswich, Coventry, Rotherham, Leicester, Lincoln, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Corby, Chingford, Isle of Wight, Thanet, Milton Keynes and York – with the loss of 136 jobs.

The company was founded as a single store in North Walsham in 2004 and has since grown to have 25 sites across the country – as far and wide as the Isle of Wight and York.

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