Fenton & Fenton customers left out-of-pocket as administrators step in

The administrators of interior and homewares business Fenton & Fenton are looking to find a buyer for the popular brand, which has axed nearly 60 workers and left some customers hundreds of dollars out of pocket.

The Melbourne-based business, founded by Lucy Fenton in 2008, sold eclectic furniture, homewares and art. It had showrooms in Prahran and Collingwood in Melbourne, as well as an online store, which has been replaced with a notice announcing it has appointed Ernst & Young (EY) as liquidators.

Fenton & Fenton has been placed into administration.
Fenton & Fenton has been placed into administration.

EY turnaround and restructuring leader Adam Nikitins said he and fellow administrator Stewart McCallum were still assessing the business but noted it had a loyal online customer base. Fenton & Fenton has a combined 428,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram.

“There are going to be circumstances where customers have paid for goods that cannot be delivered. We’re looking at better understanding that situation at the moment,” Nikitins said.

The administrators are proactively reaching out to impacted customers, he added.

“We’re going through an outreach program where we’re connecting with those customers that have made payments, or appear to have made payments, where orders have not been fulfilled. I can’t give hard numbers because we’re still working through that.”

A number of customers took to Fenton & Fenton’s most recent Facebook post to query whether they would be refunded for their orders or outstanding credit. The administrators have been contacted for clarification.

Fenton & Fenton was posting on social media as recently as Monday. It appears comments have been disabled on its Instagram account.


Nikitins confirmed the business, which he described as “in a state of stasis”, ceased trading and terminated 58 employees on Wednesday afternoon. He said a number of interested parties had already reached out about buying the business.

“There’s been strong interest in the brand, intellectual property, the trademark and the database, so we’re pulling together necessary information to respond to those parties who have expressed interest in purchasing that,” he said.

The administrators will also assess Fenton & Fenton’s inventory and the “most appropriate form” to realise its value “for the benefit of creditors”. “We’re exploring all avenues and options available for us,” they said.

Depending on the interest, the business may be sold in its entirety, which would save the jobs of 58 employees, or in a piecemeal manner.

Most Viewed in Business

Source: Thanks smh.com