Following the appointment of Joint Administrators Smith Cooper to this wedding attire company, John Pye Business Assets were appointed to deal with the valuation and disposal of the company’s full range of men’s formal wear hire and bridal gowns.
The company operated from a central warehouse in Tamworth, Staffs, with in-house stock stores, dry cleaning machinery and a further six regional retail outlets.
At its height, Formal Affairs processed circa 12,000 items of hired men’s formal wear and stocked over 1,200 bridal gowns throughout its seven UK stores. The main challenges in supporting the Administrators was managing high profile press coverage, with over 200 unsecured creditors including brides & grooms.
The John Pye Business Assets department personally undertook calls to all affected customers to advise and guide them through the insolvency process, as well as dealing with a high volume of stock in multiple locations subject to overdue rents.
Following a period of active direct marketing and telemarketing, a sale of the menswear was completed via private treaty, which maximised asset realisations and reduced cost for removal and disposal via an auction process.
The bridal stock was repatriated into one central company location, in order to undertake a controlled closing down sale from the firm’s Tamworth warehouse; having secured a month’s occupation with the landlord. Certain key former employees were retained to assist our team with the closing down sale, whilst dealing with a number of large retention of title claims effectively and holding an on-site auction of the plant and machinery.
Having the benefit of operating from the existing premises we were able to conduct sales direct to the general public and realised circa £30,000 (approx. 50% of the RRP) during the month of occupation. The sale results indicated that, with further marketing such as social media, acquisition of bridal databases and direct sales to the public, we could achieve an average of 35% of RRP by adopting a similar disposal method.
As a result the stock was subsequently relocated to our John Pye Auctions Luxury Assets premium saleroom at nearby Marchington, Staffs, where a “pop up” shop complete with fitting rooms and refreshments was created, with weekend sales staged for a six week period. These auction sales offerings drew substantial footfall including affected customers and ultimately achieved a further £17,000 for creditors.
To date, we have achieved £63,000 for our client which was achieved by adopting multiple disposal methods throughout the assignment.