Bathstore update (27/6)

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Following the news yesterday that Bathstore have entered administration, BiKBBI can confirm that it is liaising with both Bathstore and the Insolvency Practitioner working on behalf of the retailer. The objective of this liaison is to support those involved in a number of ways.

For our installer members, our strategy is two fold. Firstly, it’s to act as a conduit for information, helping them to navigate the complicated process of recompense for monies owed. We have communicated with members on six occasions since the news first broke on the 19th June.

We are sad to report that we have received over 100 updates from members, representing around a quarter of those potentially affected, who are collectively owed in excess of £1m by Bathstore for completed installation work. We expect this number to rise dramatically over the coming days as our members continue to update us with their stake.

Of those members who have updated us so far, the highest individual creditor is owed over £90,000, with the majority being owed between £2,500 & £10,000. Clearly this is a life changing situation for many.

We often understand the impact on staff involved in these situations, but forget the impact on micro SME suppliers. BiKBBI is committed to ensure these people and their families voices are heard at the very highest level.

Secondly, we will support our members by connecting them with new opportunities. The threat of losing money is one thing, but this situation will affect their future order-book, with installers often being booked for 8-12 weeks in advance. We are working with some great retailers and strategic partners and thankfully the general UK skills shortage will prove to be an asset in this scenario. Great installers are in demand and we will ensure that our members are connected with those businesses and individuals seeking a professional installation service.

Furthermore, our find-a-member website, which is receiving a high volume of consumer visitors, will allow consumers to connect directly with our members and we hope that this will prove useful to those affected. We have invited Bathstore / BDO to reference this facility on their website and await their response.

BIKBBI CEO Damian Walters (pictured) commented by saying: “Once again it’s the little guy that’s hit the most. Honest, hard working people who are the backbone of our economy are once again victim of a scenario which is clearly way beyond their control. I give my personal assurances to each and every one of them and their families that we’ll do everything in our power to ensure their voice is heard.

“We have requested meetings with the appointed administrators at BDO and will be meeting Ministers to discuss the available support to our members and their customers. I have spoken to our own Patron Stephen Metcalfe MP, and we are working on a strategy to seek government support on this matter – This will go right to the top and I will not rest until notice is taken and action is had”.

Further update to follow.

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