Kent jobs saved with sale of Dreams bed stores
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Most staff working for Dreams, the struggling bed business that
collapsed into administration yesterday, can sleep a little
easier after the sale of 171 stores, including nine in Kent.
The sale saved 1,600 jobs nationwide - and dozens in Kent
and Medway - but left more than 300 wondering if the
remaining 95 stores, including Folkestone, remaining in
administration would be sold.
Administrators at Ernst & Young sold the bulk of the
business, including its head office and two UK factories, to a new
company controlled by Sun Capital Partners, for an undisclosed
As a result the business has secured new investment and will
continue to operate as a going concern. The new owner has pledged
to honour customer orders where part payment deposits have been
made for goods and customer warranties.
Nine Kent stores are trading normally - Gillingham, Gravesend,
Maidstone, Sittingbourne, Dartford, Ashford, Canterbury,
Broadstairs and Tunbridge Wells.
Dreams is one of the UK's leading specialist retailer of beds
and associated products. with 266 stores across the UK, employing
approximately 2,000 employees.
Alan Hudson, joint administrator, said: "High street retailers
have faced unprecedented conditions over recent years, and the
market for higher value discretionary purchases has been
"Dreams is a well known market leader, but in common with many
others has suffered as a result of this depressed retail
environment, a rapid expansion of its store portfolio and onerous
"Whilst recent performance has improved, it has seen a decline
in like for like sales across its store portfolio as well as its
operating margins being squeezed. This has resulted in the business
being unable to continue to operate outside of administration."
He added: "The business will continue to trade without
interruption, over 1,600 jobs have been transferred and the future
of Dreams on the UK high street has been safeguarded.
"The remaining stores that are not included in the sale will
remain open for business whilst the administrators seek to find
buyers for these stores."
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