News: UK furniture retailer Dwell has become the latest high-street design brand to go into administration, ceasing trading with immediate effect and closing all 23 of its stores.
Dwell's staff have been asked to stay at home while administrators are appointed. The company's website has been taken offline and customers who have already placed orders have been advised to contact their card issuer.
Dwell, which specialises in contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories, opened its first store in Balham, south London in 2003.
Update 5/7/13: see the latest developments on this story
Of the 23 existing stores, the majority are located in London and the south east of England, with others in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Nottingham, Solihull, Cheltenham and Glasgow. It operates a concession at the House of Fraser department store in London, which has also closed. The announcement means that around 300 jobs are at risk.
A spokesperson for Dwell said: "The business had been working with its advisers, to secure further working capital for the business and was actively in the process of talking to a number of interested parties. However, despite this interest, it did not progress. As a result we have been left with no option but to close the business with immediate effect."
In 2011, furniture retailer Habitat was forced to place 30 of its stores into administration. It managed to retain three stores in the UK and set up outlets in branches of DIY retailer Homebase in a move that was criticised by Elle Decoration editor Michelle Ogundehin, who claimed Habitat was "as good as dead".
In a movie filmed at last year's Clerkenwell Design Week, producer Thorsten van Elten told Dezeen that online shopping is a "better model" because "the rents and rates on the high street are outrageous," but added that people still love physical stores.
In an opposing move though, online homeware retailer Made.com opened a physical showroom in London last year, with CEO and founder Ning Li saying that a physical space was a good way to supplement the online shopping experience.
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