Tool company Footprint Tools has entered voluntary liquidation, although it is expected that all creditors should be paid in full.
“The recession and the credit crunch hit the business at the worst possible time as we were in the process of relocating the business from our Sheffield city centre premises to new premises in Owlerton,” managing director Christopher Jewitt told buildersmerchantsjournal.net sister publication DIY Week.
“The plan was to then invest in new equipment to continue with our hand tool ranges and to open up new areas, but of course the world changed,” he said.
The company explored all available options, including selling the business as a going concern, but in the current climate, no buyer could be found. There is still hope that the brand will be preserved however, or a buyer found for the manufacturing facility.
Jewitt continued: “Clearly for any business a relocation is a major upheaval, and to be ht with a recession coupled with a credit crunch – meaning a total lack of available funding – meant that under the circumstances we felt it was the only route open to us. Therefore, the directors took the decision that rather than sitting back and letting the company become insolvent we would conduct an orderly wind down.
“The one thing we didn’t want to happen was to see the company go bust – this is a dignified exit. We wanted to go honourably, as befits a company of Footprint’s standing and reputation.”
He expressed regret that the staff would lose their jobs, but added that the voluntary nature of the wind down was in their best interest, as, while being made redundant, “they are not being locked out”.
“We’re not the first and we won’t be the last,” said Jewitt. “It’s very sad because Footprint has been in the stewardship of the Jewitt family since 1948. The plan was a good one but it was bad timing as a confluence of events have conspired against us.”