120-year-old furniture firm enters administration

A furniture retailer which has been trading for almost 120 years has called in administrators.

The bosses of Lee Longlands & Co says the decision has been made following the “devastating” impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but that the company will be operating as usual.

Family-owned Lee Longlands & Co Limited made the announcement as it reopened its showrooms for trading following the enforced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The business operates showrooms in Birmingham, Leamington Spa, Kidderminster, Abingdon, Derby and Cheltenham. It has operated its flagship Birmingham showroom on Broad Street in the city centre since 1932.

Joint administrator, Matt Ingram, of advisory firm Duff & Phelps, confirmed his appointment was as a direct result of the coronavirus lockdown. He said: “Lee Longlands is a household name across the Midlands and has a fantastic reputation for quality and service. It is a long-standing profitable business and the fact that the appointment of Administrators has been necessary, demonstrates the devastating financial impact that this pandemic will leave in its wake.”

Following the appointment of administrators, the stores are now to reopen and customers awaiting deliveries are being told that their orders will be fulfilled. The company will now start booking delivery dates and will be complying with social distancing rules.

Robert Lee, who is the fourth generation of family stewardship of the firm, said: “For almost 120 years our family business and our employees have put our customers at the heart of everything we do. That will not change. We are very much open for business as usual and our customers can be assured, we will continue to give them the highest levels of service as we restore our short-term finances and get back to work.

“Now that the Coronavirus restrictions are being eased and we can begin to operate again, we are working extremely hard, under the highest level of safety standards, to start deliveries again for all our customers and get our showrooms open so that the public can once again furnish their homes with our fantastic quality products.”

Ingram added: “This is a firm with a sound financial proposition. Being unable to trade for almost three months has severely disrupted its working capital cycle but working with management and with the support of the company’s suppliers, we will be focusing on restructuring its cash flow and exiting the administration period as soon as possible.”

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