Iconic vacuum retailer Godfreys has entered voluntary administration, with 54 stores set to shut over the coming weeks.
Godfreys Group cited cost-of-living pressures and inflation as the reasons behind its collapse, after nearly 90 years in business.
Godfreys currently has 141 stores across Australia and New Zealand, with a further 28 stores run by franchisees. It currently employs more than 600 staff. The closure of the 54 stores will mean 171 staff in Australia and 22 staff in Zealand will be out of a job.
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Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley from PwC Australia have been appointed as administrators and are undertaking the operational restructure and sale process.
"Lower customer demand amid cost-of-living pressures, higher operating costs and increased competition have all taken a toll on profitability, with some stores more impacted than others," Crosbie said.
"Our aim is to move quickly to restructure Godfreys to preserve as much of the business, and as many jobs, as possible. We intend to trade the restructured store network and sell the business and assets as an ongoing concern, with strong interest expected from prospective buyers.”
Godfreys was founded by Godfrey Cohen in 1931 during the Great Depression. At that time, vacuum cleaners were sold door to door and couldn’t be purchased in stores in Australia.
Godfrey began selling reconditioned vacuum cleaners through his father’s furniture store in Bourke St, Melbourne.
This week it was also announced that dessert manufacturer Sara Lee had been saved after going into voluntary administration in October. It is being sold to a private company owned by Klark and Brooke Quinn, who were involved in the purchase of Darrell Lea in 2012.