UPDATED: Furniture chain Lombok has closed half its shops and is mulling the closure of more amid punishing trading conditions in the big ticket sector.
Sources told Retail Week that further stores could be closed in the coming days and weeks from its remaining estate, which includes its store on London’s Kings Road as well as those in Bluewater, Batley and Chiswick, in London.
It is thought Lombok is aiming to keep its flagship on Tottenham Court Road open. It also has a clearance store in Fulham as well as its House of Fraser concession.
A source close to the retailer said Lombok is “repositioning” itself to be a more online-focused business, meaning it will now operate from a reduced number of physical stores.
It is not known how many staff have lost their jobs due to the closures.
The source told Retail Week: “Lombok is finding it tough but in line with the industry, particularly given the VAT increase. But the brand is still strong and there is still demand there.”
Lombok had 19 stores before it was bought out of pre-pack administration in July 2009 by Privet Capital, which initiated a turnaround of the business, hiring Stuart Lewis as managing director and Martin Toogood, former chief executive of collapsed furniture chain Ilva, as chairman. Five stores were closed at the time of the purchase.
In the year to August 1 2010, Lombok revealed a profit before interest, tax and exceptionals of £1m compared with a loss of £1m the previous year. Like-for-likes grew 7%.
Lombok declined to comment.