New Zealand Vacuum Cleaner Company Limited (the “Company”) has today entered Voluntary Administration. The Company is part of the Australian-owned Godfreys Group and operates the group’s New Zealand retail stores. Godfreys Group’s Australian entities also entered Voluntary Administration today.
Established in 1931, Godfreys is one of the world’s largest vacuum retailers and one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading suppliers of specialty commercial floor care and associated cleaning products. 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 there are 16 Company operated and nine franchised stores.
Stephen White and John Fisk of PwC New Zealand have been appointed as Voluntary Administrators of New Zealand Vacuum Cleaner Company Limited, while Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley of PwC Australia have been appointed Voluntary Administrators over the group’s Australian entities.
During the administration period, the Godfreys business will continue to trade while PwC undertakes an operational restructure and sale process. As a result of the restructure, a number of stores will be closed. At this stage the administrators anticipate that approximately five of these will be Company owned stores in New Zealand.
Commenting on the appointment, Administrator Stephen White says, “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.