Administrators are expected to be appointed for Bathstore this week, as the 170-store chain grapples with possible collapse.
As well being a major contender in the bathroom ceramics market, Bathstore is also a significant tile retailer, offering wall and floor tiles, mosaics, trims, adhesives and grouts, with several hundred different product lines in each category. Amongst the company’s customer service offers are design and installation services.
The company underwent an MBO in 2014, backed by American billionaire Warren Stephens. The latest set of accounts, to July 2017, showed that the business was loss-making. Subsequent comment by the chairman Geoff Battersby had stated that low consumer confidence had continued to affect the business adversely.
With up to 700 jobs at risk, there are said to be a number of parties interested in buying parts of the business. One potential purchaser, said to be in the frame, is Hilco, who bought Homebase last year. Media reports suggest that a Hilco acquisition would result in the emergence of a much slimmed down Bathstore.
Currently neither Bathstore or Hilco are making any comment on the administration process.