Godfreys collapses into administration, to shut stores and cull staff

Godfreys administration
Administrators plan to restructure the heritage retail firm. (Source: godfreys.com.au)

Trans-Tasman vacuum retailer Godfreys has collapsed into administration and is expected to shut down 54 stores as well as cull 193 jobs.

The 93-year-old company has appointed Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley from PwC Australia as voluntary administrators.

“Sadly, like many retailers, we have been heavily impacted by consumer confidence and spending due to the economic era of high inflation, rising interest rates, and intense cost-of-living pressures,” said Jane Allen, daughter of Godfreys co-founder John Johnston, in a statement.

The company was also struggling to recover from the “unprecedented business disruptions” of the Covid-19 pandemic, Allen added.

The retailer operates 141 stores with more than 600 employees across Australia and New Zealand, while franchisees run an additional 28 stores.

Following the collapse of the business, the administrators have decided to close 54 stores and axe 193 jobs, of which 171 are in Australia, in the next two weeks.

“Our aim is to move quickly to restructure Godfreys to preserve as much of the business and as many jobs as possible,” said Crosbie. “We intend to trade the restructured store network and sell the business and assets as a going concern, with strong interest expected from prospective buyers.”

The first meeting of creditors is expected to be held on February 9.

Godfreys was founded in 1931 and opened its first store in Melbourne in 1936. The company is one of the leading retailers of floor care and cleaning products in Australia and New Zealand.

This article was first published on sibling website Inside Retail.