Anger over cancelled orders
as design retailer Dwell reopens

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Furniture retailer Dwell to reopen

News: collapsed UK furniture retailer Dwell is to reopen five of its 23 stores following a deal with the company's original founder - but furious customers of the old company are claiming their orders will not be honoured.

Dwell, which ceased trading on 20 June 2013 with the loss of 300 jobs, held an estimated £1 million of customer deposits when it went into administration.

The company's Facebook page has been flooded with comments by customers saying they have lost money. "I phoned up this AM only to be told that the order I placed on 25th May is null and void," wrote Mags Mckie. "£500 worth of orders deleted from my account," commented Susan Lowe Barrie.

Update 6/7/13: Dwell's Facebook page is now here: www.facebook.com/ukdwell

"I was waiting for 4 chairs to be delivered," said Margaret Jones in another Facebook comment. "Phoned customer services today and was told would def not get the order now and should contact bank to claim back payment. Was told I could reorder from new company as chairs were in stock."

Dwell announced on Wednesday that Aamir Ahmad, who founded the brand in 2003 but left in November 2012, had agreed a deal to rescue the company and save 150 jobs.

He said in a statement: "Our priority lies with the customers and suppliers who have been let down by the former management. We are working hard to try and resolve the issues, in particular outstanding customer orders."

He added: "Although we are not legally obliged to, we are doing everything we can to find a solution for customers who have lost out.  Our primary goal is to help customer and suppliers regain their trust in the dwell brand.”

Ahmad advised customers with outstanding orders to check the company’s social media platforms for advice. However Dwell's Twitter account said: "Please note we are no longer dwell Retail Ltd. Previous orders will not be fulfilled, as we are now a new company."

Customers reacted angrily to the tweet. "I've just been told by customer services that they're not honouring deliveries, but I can buy from the new company!" said Andrew Lansdell on Twitter yesterday. "I'm only a customer and am £857 short, what are you going to do about that?" asked another customer.

The operator of Dwell's Twitter account appeared to feel sympathy for customers' plight, writing: "F***ing snakes indeed. I didn't get paid by them either."

Dwell reopened its online store this week and will reopen five high-street stores from Saturday 6 July at Tottenham Court Road, Westfield London, Westfield Stratford City, Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, and Barton Square in Manchester.

Dwell, which specialises in contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories, opened its first store in Balham, south London in 2003.

Here's the announcement of the rescue from Dwell's blog:


Dwell, the furniture retailer, has been saved from disappearing off British high streets thanks to its founder Aamir Ahmad returning to lead the company. Ahmad’s plan will save over 150 jobs and keep the business operating from at least five stores and the web.

From Saturday 6th July, dwell will reopen their stores in Tottenham Court Road, Westfield White City, Westfield Stratford, Barton Square in Manchester and Lakeside in Thurrock. Talks with other landlords are underway with a hope that additional stores and jobs can be saved. Dwell’s online store (www.dwell.co.uk) will also reopen on Thursday. Advice to customers who have outstanding orders will be available on the company’s social media platforms.

Ahmad founded dwell with his family and friends in 2003 and successfully grew it over 9 years, but along with his co-founders was replaced in November last year. He will be stepping back in to run the business as CEO. Ahmad comments: “Our priority lies with the customers and suppliers who have been let down by the former management. We are working hard to try and resolve the issues, in particular outstanding customer orders. Although we are not legally obliged to, we are doing everything we can to find a solution for customers who have lost out. Our primary goal is to help customer and suppliers regain their trust in the dwell brand.

  • I. Tavares

    This sounds so dodgy! I’ve lost my money on my order which kept getting backdated since February 2013 and now to be told I’ve not only lost my money but I can re-buy it? Jokers! GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK YOU THIEVES!

    • pat

      I ordered an item for £149. by debit card and my order did not materialise when I found out the company had gone bust. My bank account is with the Halifax and I wrote to them explaining the situation and within 10 days they had re-credited by account. If you paid by credit card you have rights as well so get onto your bank. Good Luck.

  • Jude Harris

    My partner ordered two shelf units, has waited over 8 weeks for them, was told on 19th that they were being dispatched, then they went into receivership on 20th. ISN’T THIS FRAUDULANT PRACTICE? How can he get his money back or the goods?

  • ex employee

    The company was run into the red severely, by Aamir Ahmad, Sean Galligan and Dave Garrett who are the original owners and directors. They requested a cash injection to save them and advertised it as investment.

    They used the money frivolously and required more. The investment company agreed to do so but only if they all stepped down, because they were killing the brand. In come the new board of directors and Rebecca Cotterall who try to right things but find that Aamir has fabricated and leaked to the press that dwell is going under. At this point customers panic and orders are cancelled left, right and centre. This sudden extraction of thousands of pounds of capital left the business exposed and with no money to keep the sales = money to pay for stock. The cycle was frozen.

    Cue Aamir, Dave and Sean waiting for administration where they can choose to buy only the “dwell” name and leave the debts. Please note that debts in this case are employee wages, suppliers and customers. They have reopened the company themselves after sabotaging the previous board of directors and turning their backs on the majority of staff that helped them to build the business.

    This company has been in dire straits for the last three years and the return of the owners is nothing at all to celebrate.

  • Pete

    Aamir Ahmad should be put behind bars. The sofa that I ordered in March is sitting in their warehouse (along with 5 others) and is now being sold to someone else (only 1 week delivery times now apparently). I paid for it in full, it is my property, but for some reason Mr Ahmad thinks that he is entitled to steal my property and sell it again. I hope nothing but bad things happen to him and his dodgy company.

    • Sabby

      I totally agree with you. My delivery has also not arrived and they have MY MONEY. My bank, whom I have been with the last 35 years, has still not been able to help me sort this out. Makes me sooooo ANGRY!

  • dezeen_intense

    There's some info for customers affected by the collapse and reopening of Dwell here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/shopping/20

    Marcus/Dezeen

  • Angry

    I saw the items l had paid for in APRIL on show in the store today l was told l could have them if l paid again for them at full price. I asked if l could just take them seeing that the store owed me over £700. l was told NO because we are a different company.

    But then why should a DIFFERENT company have ALL my details on their computer? They were also taking orders which l told them was wrong.

  • Roger roger

    Dwell are the scourge of the furniture retail industry. They have been copying respected designs for some time and selling them on for a fraction of the price at substandard quality.

    They do not have a shred of integrity. They don’t care about outstanding orders, they don’t care about their staff, they don’t care about their suppliers and they don’t care about money owed to all of the above… they just DONT CARE. The only thing the board do care about is lining their pockets with your money. The only action anyone can take is to boycott this company at all costs.

  • Emma

    Nobody’s mentioned yet that the founder, and now supposed saviour, is the same person who started furniture company Ocean and did the same thing, running it into the ground amid a mountain of debt and customers left in the lurch.

  • Rob

    I think I will stand outside the store who sold… sorry took my money and every person before they enter the store I will give then a copy of my lost order and the notice of administration from Dwell.

    I don’t think this company will see the next financial year. As for the directors I work in a prison and I hope to see you soon. Remember the film SCUM!

  • http://www.ammalux.com Ian Marvin

    Long ago Ocean asked me for a sample and prices of one of our light fittings. No order followed, but after a while a simplified copy appeared in their catalogue. So I’ve always been wary of them.

  • http://igniteretail.com/retail-design/ Tim

    It’s really bad for the brand.

  • http://www.theo-theo.com Thorsten

    Haha, I just noticed myself appearing as a related link to this story so I just thought I’d avoid confusion and reassure everybody that all is well with my online shop Theo: <a href="http:// (www.theo-theo.com)” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(www.theo-theo.com)” target=”_blank”>(www.theo-theo.com)

    We’re hugely looking forward to two more pop-up shops in the second half of this year, one at designjunction in September and another one at Somerset House in November and December with some lovely new products.

    Hopefully see you there :)

  • Charlie Bing

    Looks like these folks also ripped off Dwell, the north American design magazine that launched here in 2000: http://www.dwell.com/info/about-dwell

    I’ve never been there, but my suggestion, if you haven’t shopped at this place before, would be to vote with you feet and go nowhere near them.

  • Maria

    This is legalised theft essentially.

    The ‘new’ Dwell then had the utter cheek to use ahem, the ‘old’ Dwell’s customer list and spammed them with invites to shop their sale selling goods which they had paid for but never received. How’s that for contempt? Or maybe just colossal stupidity? Either way they should not get away with this! Can’t someone with some authority DO something about this? It’s so transparent.

    And re. customer list, I never gave any consent for my personal data to be transferred to anther company even if they are the same folk.

    The new Dwell are doing nothing for folk other than directing them to the bank. It seems they thought that folk would just do that unquestioningly. Underestimated issues of trust, people’s time, cash flow and fundamental sense of decency and justice.

    Dwell might make some fast cash out of this, but they will NEVER survive this massive c*ck up.

  • Liz

    Real shame as had lovely products we also have been waiting for stone glossy cupboard which we paid in full and will never receive in future. People have worked hard to purchase products they wanted and will never receive its a rip off new customers would stay well clear of buying from this company.

  • milly

    Totally agree! Angry customers, left with no items. We paid our money and want it back – NOT for you to open all your stores up again only to con another load of customers. Once bitten, twice shy.

    Just give us our money back! I don’t know how you have the nerve to display your company for a second time. It will not last and is sure to be back in administration again before you know it.