Takeover talks at Made.com have come to nothing: as a result, the furniture retailer is now said to be on the brink of bankruptcy. The webshop is already down.
Negotiations blown up
It looks like all the help is coming too late for Made.com. The British furniture webshop started looking for a buyer at the end of September, but those talks ended in a fizzle. The company announces that it has walked away from the negotiating table itself because the possible bids or financing proposals were not sufficient.
It is no longer even certain that a rescue could emerge in time, Made.com admits. None of the potential buyers could step in fast enough or bid sufficiently – if anyone would bid at all. The deadline to bid basically ran until the end of this month.
Share of a penny
However, by blowing up the bridges itself, Made.com is now completely on the brink: the news caused the share price to plummet by 90%. A share is now worth just a penny. In June 2021, when the furniture company went public, Made.com was still worth 775 million pound.
“If no further funding can be found, or a solid offer for the company is not received before the company’s cash reserves are fully depleted, the board will take the necessary steps to preserve value for creditors,” Made.com now states, according to The Guardian.
It is a remarkable downturn for a retailer that was a pioneer in digitising the furniture sector. The online retailer pioneered the manufacturer-to-consumer model, whereby Made.com had products produced, packaged and often shipped directly to factories in China. Moreover, many pieces of furniture went into production only when they were ordered by customers.
When Made.com entered into a fulfilment partnership with Katoen Natie in 2019, to handle European logistics from Antwerp, it found that 45% of products did not even need to go to a warehouse: those orders were shipped straight to customers as soon as boats from China docked in Antwerp. However, the corona pandemic and subsequent global supply problems sent that model into disarray.
Full of hope, Made still bought Trouva, a British platform for independent boutiques, in May. In this way, the online retailer wanted to capitalise on the platform trend and turn itself into a marketplace. What will happen to Trouva if Made.com goes bankrupt is unclear. At least the website is still active.