// Axminster Carpets has fallen into administration, leading to 80 job losses
// The website is operating as per normal as administrators continue to seek a buyer for the heritage firm
Axminster Carpets has fallen into administration after attempts to secure a rescue deal, leading to the loss of 80 jobs.
Benjamin Wiles and Geoff Bouchier of Duff & Phelps were appointed as joint administrators of the 265-year-old business earlier this week.
It marks the second time Axminster Carpets has gone into administration in seven years.
On appointment, the administrators sold the firm’s Axfelt underlay division to Ulster Carpets.
It is now expected that Axminster Carpet Shop will be acquired by Wilton Flooring.
At the time of writing, Axminster Carpet’s website – including its direct-to-consumer online store – is still operating as usual.
Although the administrators are continuing to seek a buyer for Axminster’s remaining assets and brand, 80 staff were made redundant at its manufacturing site.
“Despite a number of expressions of interest no acceptable offer for the core carpet business has been received, leaving no option but to appoint administrators while the remaining options are explored,” Wiles said.
“The administrators have had to come to the decision that the best possible option for maximising the realisations for the company’s creditors was the immediate sale of its underlay business to Ulster Carpets and the redundancy of the majority of the existing workforce.”
He added: “We are continuing to explore all potential options for all or part of the remaining business and assets including the historic brand name itself.”
Founded in 1755, Axminster Carpets is known for its woven carpets created through traditional techniques and natural materials.
One of its most famous clients was Buckingham Palace, and it was also tasked with recreating the original 1822 carpet at The Royal Pavilion in Brighton.
In 2018, Axminster Carpets made a pre-tax loss of nearly £1 million, and a loss of almost £3 million in 2017, according to accounts filed at Companies House.