Vaccum cleaner retailer Godfreys to close permanently

Godfreys store network was initially expected to be reduced, but now all will close.

Godfreys store network was initially expected to be reduced, but now all will close. Photo: AAP

Vacuum cleaner retailer Godfreys has confirmed it will close all of its stores for good.

The news comes as administrators said it could not find a suitable buyer to purchase the business.

Established in 1931, Godfreys is one of the world’s largest vacuum retailers, operating 141 stores and employing more than 600 staff across Australia and New Zealand. It has another 28 stores run by franchisees.

Administrators were appointed to Godfreys in January after the “challenging economic operating environment” led to a drop in sales.

At the time, the retailer announced the closure of 54 stores resulting in 171 staff in Australia and 22 in New Zealand being laid off.

There will be hundreds more job losses with the remaining stores – including 28 run by franchisees – set to close by May.

“With interested parties withdrawing and no satisfactory bids to acquire Godfreys store network yet received, the Administrators have no other option but to commence a progressive wind-down of Godfreys’ operations in Australia and New Zealand,” a statement from the administrators said.

PwC partner and administrator Craig Crosbie said 55 expressions of interests were made, as well as six indicative offers, but they were ultimately left with no choice but to shutter for good.

“This is not the outcome Godfreys had hoped for following a rigorous process to find a purchaser for the business that could keep the store network trading,” Crosbie said.

“In the absence of any further bidders coming forward as intermittent trading continues, the process of closing all remaining stores will progress over the next eight weeks.

“We recognise this is a difficult time for staff, franchisees, and other stakeholders, and we will continue to work closely with all parties to ensure they are informed and supported over the coming weeks.”

Godfreys staff have been made aware of the closure, with 25 head office staff made redundant from today.

Godfreys was founded in Melbourne by Godfrey Cohen during the Great Depression, at a time when vacuum cleaners were sold door-to-door and could not be purchased in Australian stores.

It listed on the ASX in late 2014 but was taken private just four years later after struggling from competition from retailers such as Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Amazon and

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