Samson Holding, the parent company of Peterborough's Willis & Gambier, has announced that it will exit the UK marketplace by the end of April 2019, whereupon Willis & Gambier will cease operations.
The parent company states that the decision was made following a year of "unprecedented market conditions" and "significant soul-searching". The report reads: "The UK, following the Brexit decision made in 2016, is facing extremely challenging market conditions, with little sign of clarity. Furthermore, the change in customer buying patterns and expectations has added to the placed pressure on our division in the UK, Willis & Gambier."
Samson Holding will continue have a presence in the UK through hospitality and direct supply OEM projects, but both areas will be administered from Asia.
"We are looking to sell all or part of the business," financial director, Elliott Li, told Furniture News. "We're not in an administration situation, the company is still solvent – the parent company is ceasing its UK warehousing operation, so the model going forward would involve more direct business – but we welcome enquiries from interested parties."
Sales representatives will now contact stockists, and the office will be in operation up to the closing date. Normal repeat orders taken up to and including 28th February will be supplied in the normal manner whilst stocks allow, with deliveries completed by 31st March.
"It was a difficult decision for Samson Holdings, but the group wants to adjust the focus of its global business," says Elliott, who also confirmed that Willis & Gambier will not be exhibiting at this year's January Furniture Show.