Bennetts Electrical goes into administration

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THE East Anglian based electrical retailer Bennetts has been put in the hands of administrators.

The Norwich company with a store in Bury St Edmunds closed its stores on Thursday afternoon. On Friday morning staff at its Bury store were seen having a meeting behind partially lowered shutters but phones went unanswered there at other store and at the company headquarters.

The Bennetts Online website showed a “down for maintenance” notice until lunchtime when it was replaced with a statement saying: “Philip Long, Stephen Holgate and Matt Howard of PKF (UK) LLP were appointed Joint Administrators of the Company on 10th March 2011. The affairs, business and remaining property of the company are being managed by them.”

It said creditors should detail their claims by email or post to or The Joint Administrators of Bennetts (Retail) Limited c/o PKF (UK) LLP Farringdon Place 20 Farringdon Road London EC1M 3AP.

Bennetts to employ about 300 across their 16 stores, of whichg 14 are in East Anglia. Their turnover last year was £55 million.

Managing director Mike Jones, said: “The Directors and staff have worked extremely hard over the last two years, harder than at any other time in our history, in an effort to address the particular challenges that the economic climate has presented, this being primarily due to the lack of consumer confidence. We are hopeful that PKF can find a suitable rescue package with all due speed in order to preserve as many jobs as possible, so that we can commence trading again with our loyal customers.”

David Merrygold, corporate recovery partner of PKF said: “We are already in discussions with a number of parties and hopeful that we will conclude a sale of the business within the next two weeks. Any expressions of interest in the purchase of the business should contact Matt Howard at PKF’s Norwich office. We have set up a dedicated customer helpline, 0845 4582000 to deal with any queries.”