Ikea rival calls in administrators

Ilva Furniture has gone into administration after just over two years of trading in the UK. The Danish company, set up to rival Ikea, suffered from a flawed launch and tough market conditions that have hit a number of retailers.

It launched in the UK in May 2006, with a store at Lakeside in Thurrock, Essex, followed by outlets in Manchester and Gateshead.

Private equity group Advent International pumped more then £50m into Ilva’s UK launch to help it compete with Swedish rival Ikea. However, Advent sold its stake last year to Icelandic bank Kaupthing for a nominal fee.

A Kroll spokesman says it is “business as usual” at Ilva and that the store would honour all existing customer orders. Ilva employs 400 staff in the UK, including those at its head office, stores and distribution.

Krow and EGS were appointed to the account in April last year following a review. In December 2005, Isobel created a launch campaign for the chain’s first three UK megastores.

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