UK: Royal carpet-maker Axminster goes into administration
The 265-year-old carpet maker supplied rugs to King George III and Queen Charlotte
One of the UK’s oldest and best known carpet makers, a supplier of rugs to Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and the British Royal Family, has gone into administration.
Axminster Carpets, which can trace its origins back to 1755, on Wednesday announced it had appointed consultants Duff & Phelps as administrators after attempts at a rescue deal were frustrated.
Most of the 90 employees based at the company’s headquarters in Devon in the south west of Britain have reportedly been made redundant as a result.
Some will continue in their work until existing orders are completed.
According to the local Herald Express, parts of the company have been sold off to rivals. Ulster Carpets, which has said it will grow its business in Devon, has acquired Axminster’s underlay-manufacturing division.
Its retail outlet has been taken by competitor Wilton Flooring.
Axminster has a glamorous and storied history. As well as royal clients such as King George III and Queen Charlotte its carpets can be found in the US congress.
Commissions lie in many of Britain’s most prestigious buildings including Chatsworth House and Brighton Pavilion.
It built its reputation in the 18th century on the Axminster method of weaving, which was used by the company’s founder Thomas Witty.
The firm shut down in the 1830s but reopened in 1937.
Its recent past has been fraught with pitfalls and it is the second time the company has entered into administration in seven years.
In a statement the company’s owners partially blamed Brexit for its woes as well as the state of the carpet market.
Updated: February 19, 2020 10:32 PM