Godfreys: Iconic vacuum cleaner business collapses into administration after 100 years of operation

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A household name in vacuum cleaners, Godfreys, has entered into administration after nearly 100 years in business.

The iconic brand name cited downward pressure on consumer spending caused by high inflation and cost-of-living concerns as reasons behind its demise.

‘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 co-founder John Johnston, on Tuesday. 

‘We are also still suffering from the unprecedented business disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ she added. 

Iconic brand name Godfreys has entered administration citing downward pressure on consumer spending caused by high inflation and cost-of-living concerns as reasons behind its demise

Iconic brand name Godfreys has entered administration citing downward pressure on consumer spending caused by high inflation and cost-of-living concerns as reasons behind its demise

Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley from PwC Australia have been appointed as administrators. 

Stephen White and John Fisk of PwC New Zealand have been appointed as administrators of the New Zealand branch. 

The collapse of the famous business and its 141 stores across Australia and New Zealand threatens the livelihoods of 600 staff. 

A further 28 stores are run by franchisees.

Of the 600, about 171 from Australia and about 20 in New Zealand are expected to be out of a job.

The collapse of the famous business and its 141 stores across Australia and New Zealand threatens the livelihoods of 600 staff

The collapse of the famous business and its 141 stores across Australia and New Zealand threatens the livelihoods of 600 staff

Mr Crosbie said the retailer 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,’ he said on Tuesday.

‘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 an ongoing concern, with strong interest expected from prospective buyers.’

'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,' said administrator Craig Crosbie on Tuesday

‘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,’ said administrator Craig Crosbie on Tuesday

Director of the company, Grant Hancock, said the decision to appoint administrators was ‘difficult’.

Godfreys was established in 1931 and is best known for selling vacuum cleaners and other cleaning products.

It gained notoriety for its unique television commercials.

The first meeting of creditors will be held on February 9. 

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