‘We’ll do all we can to help’, says liquidator at Hitchin’s Kenmore Interiors

Kenmore Interiors in Hitchin on Wednesday morning, ahead of its closing-down sale. Picture: JP Asher

Kenmore Interiors in Hitchin on Wednesday morning, ahead of its closing-down sale. Picture: JP Asher - Credit: Archant

The liquidator tasked with winding up Hitchin department store Kenmore Interiors has told the Comet its owners were in tears as they decided to close.

Insolvency practitioner Engin Faik said he would do his utmost to recover what he could financially so as much as possible could be paid to creditors and the 11 members of Kenmore staff who are to be made redundant.

Under Mr Faik, the landmark upholstery, flooring and furniture shop at the corner of Hermitage Road and Bancroft is to hold a closing-down sale this weekend – from 9am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday, and 9am to 3pm on Sunday and Monday.

Speaking to the Comet this afternoon, Mr Faik said: “It’s not a decision that was taken lightly. It is with a heavy heart the directors have decided to put Kenmore into liquidation.

“The company has been running for three decades or more and it was not a easy decision for the directors, particularly Bryn Whitaker – and quite a few tears were shed when the inevitable decision was made.

“This was a difficult decision, and the directors are aware of the effect this could have.”

Kenmore Interiors closed abruptly and without apparent explanation last Monday.

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Mr Faik said the store had been “struggling throughout this year” for reasons including low footfall and the impact of the pound exchange rate on Kenmore’s sourcing of stock overseas.

The Comet has been contacted by numerous bemused customers who say they have paid for goods they are yet to receive – and Mr Faik said he would be doing all he could to help them.

“We are aware there are quite a lot of customers in Hitchin and the surrounds, and a few that have paid deposits,” he said.

“We’re doing our level best to mitigate any losses they may suffer. Ideally they will have paid by credit card, so they will have some recourse – but if it’s by debit card or by cash, their options are far fewer.

“Whatever the case, it’s my function as liquidator to assist them in recovering what I can from the company. That’s one of my statutory duties and I’ll certainly discharge that.”

Mr Faik, of Cornerstone Business Recovery, can be reached on 020 3793 3284.

Kenmore Interiors moved into the mock-Tudor building on a 15-year lease in 2011, leaving a smaller site in Hermitage Road. The building dates back to 1927, and had three previous tenants.