Next has acquired the brand, domain names and intellectual property of Made.com for an undisclosed price in a pre-pack administration less than 18 months after the online furniture retailer floated in London.
“Having run an extensive process to secure the future of the business, we are deeply disappointed that we have reached this point,” said Susanne Given, chair of Made.
“We appreciate and deeply regret the frustration that [Made] going into administration will have caused for everyone,” she added.
Nicola Thompson, who took over as chief executive this year, apologised for the rapid demise of the company. “Over the past months we have fought tooth and nail to rapidly re-size the cost base, re-engineer the sourcing,” she said, “and try every avenue to raise fresh financing and avoid this outcome”.
Made Design Ltd, the operating subsidiary of Made.com, served notice of intent to appoint administrators at the end of October, giving itself protection from creditor claims while the pre-pack deal was negotiated.
The transaction excludes the company’s remaining inventory, which is likely to be sold off by the administrators. Shares in the listed parent, currently suspended, will be cancelled as the company is wound up.
Made.com, which employs 700 staff, floated in June last year with a £775mn valuation. The retailer, which was founded by entrepreneurs Ning Li and Brent Hoberman in 2009, boomed during the pandemic thanks to its design-led furniture that was popular with younger consumers.
But supply chain bottlenecks prompted the company to scale back on its just-in-time business model and hold more inventory close to its markets in Europe, where it continued to launch in new territories. That resulted in substantial capital tied up in stock just as demand eased off.