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Made.com Seeks Buyer as Inflation Hits Furniture Demand

·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Online furniture store Made.com Group Plc put itself up for sale after the cost-of-living crisis and supply-chain snarls severely disrupted a business that boomed during Covid-19 lockdowns.

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The UK company kicked off a strategic review, saying it hasn’t received any formal offers. Made.com said it’s considering debt financing, taking on a business partner or a complete sale or merger.

Made.com also withdrew its full-year guidance amid the downturn in furniture sales, which followed a boom during Covid lockdowns when many people were setting up home offices. The global spike in shipping costs has squeezed margins and undermined the company’s business model.

The shares fell as much as 30% in London.

Brent Hoberman, the creator of travel website Lastminute.com, co-founded Made.com in 2010 in an attempt to offer stylish furniture at cheaper prices by selling directly to consumers and eliminating traditional retailers.

The company plans to cut 35% of its staff, the Financial Times reported earlier this week, citing a letter to employees from Chief Executive Officer Nicola Thompson, who replaced Philippe Chainieux earlier this year.

The shares have fallen 98% since Made.com’s initial public offering in June 2021, cutting its market value to £22.7 million ($25.5 million). The company had said it was considering a capital increase, but concluded in its statement Friday that “the prevailing conditions are not supportive at the current time of raising sufficient equity from public market investors.”

(Updates with shares, background on company)

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