Deathwatch - plug pulled on Bennetts stores

bennetts-electricalIs there a Bennetts superstore where you live? No? Now there never will be. Boo. The independent electrical retailer, which employed around 300 staff in 14 stores across the country, has gone into administration. Visitors to their website will only see a message from PKF (UK) LLP, the London-based administrators.

According to avid Bitterwallet reader Dave, the news wasn't entirely expected: "The local store manager there was standing outside a closed shop - at 2pm - and telling anyone who showed up that he wasn't sure if he'd have a job tomorrow."

Meanwhile, the Norwich Evening News suggests the business collapsed because of the widespread malaise in high street retail. One member of Bennett's staff is quoted as saying trade hadn't picked up since December's inclement weather, while the newspaper repeats the recent figures from the British Retail Consortium, that showed a worse-than-expected 0.4pc decrease in like-for-like sales for the high street as a whole, compared with February 2010.


  • Kev
    Sad for the staff, but sad for Bennetts. Trouble with the store was they never modernised. I actually avoided going into their stores in the end. The staff must of been paid comission on sales and would POUNCE on you as soon as you walked in.. You felt that you couldn't browse anything in peace and quiet until being pounced upon. Even when I did speak to the staff I felt my purchasing options were narrowed by what they needed to shift (as opposed to what I was asking for). Sad about the job losses, not suprised about the company news.
  • Kip
    Yep - sad to hear but I'm not surprised, they use to be fairly priced, and very knowledgeable. One of the few retailers that would actually let you see a product in action. Near the end their prices weren't very competitive and the sales stuff just relentlessly tried to upsell and push stupidly priced accessories to you.
  • Michael
    How come you never did a deathwatch article on Sussex Stationers/British Bookshops? I had assumed it was because they are more of a southern chain/relatively small, but according to the BBC employed 300 staff across 51 stores, so at least comparable in size to this chain!
  • Paul S.
    Michael - easy answer is that nobody told us. We rely on reader contributions, especially for stories like this, which are regional rather than national. An avid Bitterwallet reader told us about it, so we looked at it and ran it. Next time, shoot us an email and we'll take a look.
  • Deathwatch B.
    [...] secure than entertainment? Last week, the Bennetts chain of superstores, which employed 300 people, went into administration. Meanwhile, an unconfirmed source has told Bitterwallet that everything may not be too rosy at [...]

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