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.
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.