PwC appointed administrators to collapsed Durham Pine

Ian Green and Ian Stokoe of PricewaterhouseCoopers have been appointed as
joint administrators to collapsed furniture chain Durham Pine.

The Sunderland-based company that includes DP Furniture Express, Durham Pine,
DP Wholesale and Spinico and which has 31 outlets and a turnover of £30m, blamed
weak conditions on the high street but will continue to trade while PwC attempt
to find a buyer. About 200 jobs could be at risk if the business closes.

High street retailers and the furniture sector have been hit hard by a
decline in consumer confidence in recent months. Last month, rival company
Furnitureland collapsed, and MFI has also reported trading difficulties.

Green said: ‘Over the last 12 months the directors and management of the
group have worked hard to restructure the business to cope with an increasingly
competitive market. Unfortunately, this pressure combined with a deteriorating
retail market, has led the directors to conclude the group does not have
sufficient funds available to it to support ongoing operations.

‘The directors have therefore appointed joint administrators in an effort to
protect the interests of suppliers and customers. Naturally, we understand there
will be a number of disappointed customers and we will be assessing the position
as regards outstanding customer orders as a matter of urgency.

‘We will also be assessing the viability of individual retail units with a
view to allowing trading to continue whilst we seek a buyer for the business and

John Marshall, founder and chief executive of the group, said that it was
with ‘great regret’ that after 21 years running a successful retail operation
that he had found it necessary for part of the group to go into administration.

‘Every effort is being made to secure as many jobs as possible and I hope to
see a viable business continuing to trade’, he added.

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