Vacuum retailer Godfreys has gone into voluntary administration, with PwC appointed as the administrators.
The company — New Zealand Vacuum Cleaner Company Limited — is part of the Australian-owned Godfreys Group and operates New Zealand retail stores. Godfreys Group’s Australian entities also entered voluntary administration today.
The business operates 141 stores and employs more than 600 staff across Australia and New Zealand, with an additional 28 stores run by franchisees.
In New Zealand, the company has 16 company operated and nine franchised stores. It currently holds the exclusive licence to distribute brands such as Hoover, Wertheim, Vorwerk floorcare range, Pullman and Sauber cleaning products.
The company, established in 1931, is one of the world’s largest vacuum retailers and one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading suppliers for specialty commercial floor care and associated cleaning products.
During the administration period, Godfreys will continue to trade while PwC undertakes an “operational restructure and sales process”.
As a result, a number of stores will be closed. Administrators anticipate about five of these will be company-owned stores in New Zealand at this stage.
Commenting on the appointment, one of the administrators Stephen White said: “John Fisk and I will be working closely with the Australian administrators and Godfreys Group management to continue trading the restructured New Zealand store network during the administration in order to maximise the prospects of a going concern sale.”
In a media release issued by the Australian administrators, Craig Crosbie said: “Like many retailers, Godfreys has faced a challenging economic and operating environment. 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.”
The administrators will be briefing staff and contacting customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in the following days to update them on the impact of the administration and outline the process.