THE manager of a Fylde furniture shop has apologised for leaving customers high and dry after bailiffs moved into his shop.
Customers expecting a delivery of furniture turned up to Lancashire Living in Preston Road, Lytham, to find the shutters down and bailiffs removing furniture from the building.
But today, Lancashire Living’s manager, Steve Collinge, promised customers either their furniture or a full refund.
Robert Pinkus Management Services Limited, which acts on behalf of the building’s landlord, said the bailiffs were called in on Thursday because of the shop’s rent arrears.
They had arranged to meet Mr Collinge in the morning, but arrived to find no-one at the shop, which sells designer furniture.
Property manager Ryan Stocks, from Robert Pinkus Management Services, was at the site as it was being cleared.
He said customers had been turning up during the day to find out what had happened to the furniture they were waiting to have delivered.
Sandra Royale, 55, spent £1,180 at Lancashire Living in August on furniture for her new house in St David’s Road North, St Annes, using money donated to her from local charities following the death of her husband.
Most of her furniture arrived as expected, but Mrs Royale has been waiting to receive a washing machine and dishwasher for several weeks.
She said: “This has really stressed me out. We’re not talking about pennies here.”
Mr Collinge, who has had the shop for five years, said it had become apparent on Wednesday that the shop would have to close.
“In the times we are in it’s very difficult in business, particularly retail,” he said. “Thank you to all the customers who have bought from us, and I apologise to the ones for whom I did not quite get it right.”
Insolvency firm The P&A Partnership confirmed the shop entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) on March 30. Supervisor Ashleigh Fletcher said the finance director at the shop had been seriously ill, and died, resulting in tax payments and paperwork to slip.
The CVA allowed the company to agree a repayment schedule with its creditors for most of the debts outstanding over a five year period.
Mr Fletcher added: “Any customers who have bought furniture before March 30 and not yet received their goods, should contact us at The P&A Partnership on 0114 275 5033. If a customer has bought furniture after 30 March 2012 they should contact Lancashire Living directly to discuss their delivery.”
A certified bailiff, who did not wish to be named, said: “We were in attendance at an address at Preston Road, Lytham, yesterday under a warrant issued by the owner of the premises.”
Anyone expecting furniture can contact Mr Collinge at email@example.com.