Safestyle UK – A window and door firm has made about 680 of its workers redundant after it fell into administration.
A public notice from administrators Interpatch Advisory on Friday stated Safestyle UK had suspended share trading after failing to find a buyer.
The Bradford-based business has a manufacturing site in Wombwell and 42 branches and depots across the country.
It had faced challenges including “high-cost inflation” and “fragile consumer confidence”, administrators said.
The unseasonably warm weather in September also dented demand for its products, the statement added.
Interpath Advisory said about 70 of the firm’s 750 employees would be kept on in the short term to help wind down the business.
Workers gathered outside the company’s manufacturing site in Wombwell, South Yorkshire, on Monday afternoon.
Rick Harrison, Interpath managing director, said: “After seeing strong sales during the Covid lockdown periods, many companies are seeing trading being impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and soaring costs.
“Unfortunately for Safestyle, and despite the tireless efforts of the management team over recent months, these challenges have proven too difficult to overcome.”
Mr Harrison added: “This will be particularly devastating for the company’s employees as well as the many self-employed contractors who worked on behalf of the company.”
What does it mean for customers?
Administrators said customer orders that have not been delivered will not now be fulfilled.
Even if the company was part-way through an installation, customers will need to find an alternative installer.
They are still searching for buyers for some parts of the business, and customers may be entitled to have their orders completed by any potential new owner.
Customers will not be charged for any remaining balance on their orders.
If a deposit has been paid ahead of an installation customers should try to get that money back through their credit or debit card provider.
If they paid in cash they will not get the money back and will have to register as a creditor of Safestyle.
Source: Interpath Advisory
The GMB union held a protest outside the company’s manufacturing site in Wombwell, near Barnsley, with workers’ signs reading “where’s the money gone?” and “save our jobs”.
Worker Graham Jarvis told the BBC he was “totally, totally disgusted with the way we’ve been treated, even being notified outside in the rain and not getting the answers that we want”.
Another employee, Mick Addy, said: “I’ve worked for the company for 20 years, they’ve just kicked me in the teeth.”
Stephanie Peacock, Labour MP for Barnsley East, said: “Workers have literally been told in the car park, in the pouring rain, that they’ve lost their jobs.
“It’s absolutely appalling behaviour that anyone can be treated in this way.”
The firm has 750 employees, with about 160 based at its glass processing site in Wombwell
A banner outside Safestyle UK on Valley Road read “where’s our wages”.
She continued: “I understand workers received a text message on Friday, were told to down tools and that they could come back today to find out.
“I think there are huge questions to be answered by Safestyle, I’ve written to them this morning to demand answers.”
By Tom Airey & Cathy Killick