Mystery over sudden closures of Wallace King stores
11:15 19 April 2012
Mystery surrounds the future of an East Anglian furniture and flooring business after its stores closed without warning.
Wallace King Interiors had begun closing down sales last year, but received a reprieve following investment from British furniture manufacturers. However, the future of the company, which has stores in Diss and Cambridge and a clearance warehouse in Hall Road, Norwich, was unclear last night after the firm failed to reopen for business following the Easter break.
The situation has left a number of Wallace King customers uncertain over whether they will receive the goods they ordered weeks ago.
It comes after the furniture firm, which has been trading for more than 100 years, closed its Norwich shop in Botolph Street last year following a drop in custom. Plans had been put into place to shut its other stores in Diss and Cambridge before the company announced in December that its future had been secured by new investment.
Customers spoke of their frustration last night after being unable to get an answer from the firm over whether their orders would be fulfilled.
And a supplier to the company last night told the EDP that they had been told by staff at Wallace King that the company had ceased trading and its assets were being transferred to a company called Concordiam Ltd,
Keith Longmore, of Ashwellthorpe, who returned a faulty chair on March 23 after buying it for £600 last August said the Victoria Road shop in Diss had not been open since Good Friday and no one was answering the company’s telephones.
The customer said: “It is a very unpleasant situation if they have ceased trading without warning. Companies normally give some sort of contact number if they are closing. I am lucky in that I can claim the money back on my credit card, but others will not be so fortunate.”
A sign on the entrance to the Diss store says “this store is closed for the Easter break”. No one was available for comment from Wallace King or Concordiam last night despite numerous attempts to contact them.
The furniture business employs 12 to 15 people including delivery drivers and sub contractors.
The firm’s chairman Michael Wolton told the EDP in December: “The investors like the company and think it has got a good future because it has been in Norfolk a long time. Money will be provided as and when it is required and the aim is to help the Wallace King brand develop throughout Norfolk and the investors will bring their experience in database marketing and marketing technology to help the company.”
The business was originally founded by Wallace King in 1906 and was run by his family for several decades until a management buy-out in 1992.