Next set to rush Made as online company hits pads: High Street fashion giant is favorite to snag online furniture retailer
Founders: Brent Hoberman and Chloe Macintosh
Next launched a spectacular bid on Made.com, which collapsed last week.
The High Street fashion giant is the favorite to take over the online furniture retailer, with a buyer to be announced as early as Monday.
Next, led by Lord Wolfson, has reportedly made a bid of around £2million to take control of Made’s website, customer database, brand and other intellectual property.
It is one of many interested parties – Frasers Group is also believed to be in the running – with bids worth £2-3million.
The deal would save a much-loved British brand founded in 2010 by Brent Hoberman, Chloe Macintosh, Ning Li and Julien Callede, and see it run by Wolfson, one of the UK’s most successful retailers.
But the 500 employees of the collapsed company are on the verge of losing their jobs and will not be picked up by whoever wins the bidding war, nor will its huge stock of unsold goods. And customers with open orders will likely only be refunded if they paid by credit card.
Made confirmed he was going bankrupt last week after months of teetering on the brink.
The company aimed to make high-end furniture accessible to everyone.
It has quickly become a major player with annual sales in 2020 of £315m and was valued at £775m when it joined the London Stock Exchange just over a year ago. But a series of management missteps left the company with millions of pounds of inventory it couldn’t sell.
It has also been hammered by the disruption in the supply chain of imports from the Far East and, more recently, by the cost of living crisis.
Shareholders were devastated, having seen the stock plummet 99% before the bosses threw in the towel.
A source close to Next confirmed the offer, but said it was one of several interested buyers.
Next and Made declined to comment.