14 June 2010

Down but not out in KBB-Land

I produce a weekly report on kitchen and bathroom businesses that have gone into receivership for the kbb News website and have just completed this week's tally.

I frequently come across names of individuals or companies who I am certain have, let's say, "ceased to trade" at least once and sometimes twice before, albeit with a slightly different name each time.

I was personally caught by a company who went into receivership and ceased trading under one name only for the directors to by a shell company and then the name of the old company off of the liquidator and carry on trading from the same premises and the same telephone number but without the same debts - one of which was for the money they owed me.

You may think this was fraud - I certainly did - but no, it was all quite legal, and something just like it goes on almost every day in KBB-Land. Legal yes, but is it a good thing for the KBB business as a whole?

There was a bit of a fuss some years ago, when kitchen and bathroom retailers were going pop quicker than a firecracker in a Rio carnival, but that was because they were taking a lot of customers' deposits with them when they went belly up.

Today, it seems it’s the suppliers that get caught, or whoever the supplier insures its accounts with, but these born-again business failures still seem to get somebody to supply them when they start up in business again.

Meanwhile somebody has to pick up the tab for the inevitable increase in the insurance premiums suppliers have to pay and I suspect that may be the more honest retailer who pays for the increase with reduced margins.

My judgement on this is coloured and I admit it, but I would very pleased to hear what other readers of this blog think. I promise to post any responses I receive if I can be sure that I am not going to have a solicitor breathing down my digital neck.

I look forward to hearing from you...

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