Embattled furniture chain Dwell is close to collapse, putting around 200 jobs on the line, and yesterday closed high profile shops for ‘stock taking’.

It is thought Duff & Phelps has been lined up as administrator and could be appointed as early as today.

The retailer shut some of its most high profile stores yesterday, in Westfield’s White City and Stratford centres as well as Tottenham Court Road. Dwell put signs in the windows saying the stores are closed due to stock taking, and reopened this afternoon.

Argyll Partners were hired last month to find a buyer for Dwell, and Retail Week reported last week that potential buyers including founder Aamir Ahmad and restructurers GA Europe were considering acquiring the retailer, potentially through a pre-pack administration process.

Dwell has suffered in recent years. Pre-tax losses widened from £456,349 to £675,320 in the year to January 27, 2012. It is thought large overheads including an oversized warehouse hit performance.

Its collapse would follow large high street administrations this year, including HMV, Jessops, Republic and Blockbuster.

A spokesman for Dwell said: “There has been a significant amount of press speculation on the future of Dwell over the past couple of weeks. The business has been working with its advisers, including Argyll Partners and Duff & Phelps, to secure further working capital for the business and is currently talking to a number of interested parties who see the value of the Dwell brand and product, its customer base and its multi-channel proposition.

“Dwell continues to trade as usual and fulfil customer orders. The business has not appointed administrators.”

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