Iconic Australian vacuum retailer Godfreys collapses, goes into voluntary administration

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An iconic Australian retailer, known for its vacuum cleaners, has collapsed into administration, with more than 100 people expected to be out of a job.

Godfreys Group on Tuesday appointed voluntary administrators, citing the cost-of-living pressures and inflation causing its downfall.

Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley from PwC Australia have been appointed as administrators.

The company is expected to continue operations during the restructuring attempt,however about 54 stores are expected to close in coming weeks.

There are currently 141 stores across Australia and New Zealand employing more than 600 people.

A further 28 stores are run by franchisees.

Of the 600, about 171 from Australia and about 20 in New Zealand are expected to be out of a job.

Mr Crosbie said the retailer has faced a “challenging economic and operating environment”.

“Lower customer demand amid cost of living pressures, higher operating costs, and increased competition have all taken a toll on profitability, with some stores more impacted than others,” he said on Tuesday.

“Our aim is to move quickly to restructure Godfreys to preserve as much of the business and as many jobs as possible. We intend to trade the restructured store network and sell the business and assets as an ongoing concern, with strong interest expected from prospective buyers.”

Director of the company, Grant Hancock, said the decision to appoint administrators was “difficult”.

Godfreys was established in 1931 and is best known for selling vacuum cleaners and other cleaning products.

It gained notoriety for its unique television commercials.

The first meeting of creditors will be held on February 9.