Godfreys Group Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries in Australia and New Zealand (‘Godfreys’) have today entered into Voluntary Administration.
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.
Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australia have been appointed as Voluntary Administrators of the Australian entities. John Fisk and Stephen White of PwC New Zealand have been appointed Voluntary Administrators over the New Zealand subsidiary.
The Administrators will continue to trade the Godfreys business while undertaking an immediate operational restructure and sale process. As a result of the restructure, it is anticipated that 54 stores will be closed within the next 14 days, affecting the employment of approximately 193 staff, 171 in Australia and 22 in New Zealand.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr 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.
“Our aim is to move quickly to restructure Godfreys to preserve as much of the business and as many jobs as possible. 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.
“We will continue to work closely with Godfreys’ director, management, and creditors, including staff whose employment is unfortunately impacted by store closures,” Mr Crosbie added.
Godfreys’ director, Mr Grant Hancock, said: “While the decision to appoint Administrators was difficult, it was made with the best interests of Godfreys’ employees, customers and broader stakeholders in mind.”
The first meeting of creditors will be held on Friday, 9 February 2024