Angry customers left out after major Harborough furniture store suddenly announced closure

The Furniture Loft at the Riverside Industrial Estate emailed customers out of the blue last Friday (June 17) announcing that they are ceasing trading and cannot fulfill their order.

Fury erupted after a major furniture store in Market Harborough suddenly announced it was closing, leaving up to 400 customers in shock.

The Furniture Loft at the Riverside Industrial Estate emailed customers out of the blue last Friday (June 17) announcing that they are ceasing trading and cannot fulfill their order.

The business, which opened six years ago, asked shoppers to take back any money they had already given to their card provider.

The Furniture Loft at the Riverside Industrial Estate emailed customers out of the blue last Friday (June 17) announcing that they are ceasing trading and cannot fulfill their order.

But the news has sparked an outcry – and could leave dozens out of pocket.

Angry shoppers in Market Harborough as well as across the region have contacted the Harborough Mail to blast Furniture Loft owner Richard Kimbell, 75.

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A woman told us she put up £988 deposit for a beige two-seater sofa, two chairs and a footstool on January 21.

“It’s absolutely outrageous.

“I’m fighting to get my money back and I know I won’t get my furniture back.

“It was all very badly handled and the people running this store should be ashamed of the way they treated honest people like me,” said the Market Harborough woman who asked not to be named.

“My order came to £1,976.

“That’s a lot of money.

“People say they ordered things from this batch just three weeks ago.

“Well, surely the owners must have known then that they were retreating?”

“The Furniture Loft sent letters to customers in March telling them they were having a huge sale as they closed their showroom and went online.

“I thought it was very strange at the time.

“I called the store on June 13 to ask where my furniture had arrived after I got tired of waiting.

“A lady there told me it would be ready on July 11.

“Just four days later I received an email from them telling me they were stopping trading!

“It’s unbelievable and totally unacceptable,” the woman said.

“It’s very upsetting.

“I suspect hundreds of people like me have been kept in the dark and turned away.

“The Furniture Loft is a major local business – and is also meant to be responsible.

“But the way they treated loads of loyal customers like me is irrelevant – and it left a very bad taste in my mouth.”

A Desborough man said he paid £400 on March 17 for four chairs.

“I paid the full price.

“I went there one day last week – and they promised me I would get the chairs,” the furious father said.

“Now they have closed and I will not get my money or the chairs back.

“I think they knew very well in March that they were in trouble when they organized the big sale.

“It’s just terrible that in these difficult times when ordinary people like me are struggling to make ends meet and every penny counts, we are so disappointed.”

Another customer told us, “The people who run Furniture Loft care little for their customers or their staff who have to endure daily abuse based on the actions of these people.

“The company continued to withdraw money from customers for orders and must have been fully aware that it would not be able to fulfill them as it risked going into liquidation.”

“They leave so many people struggling to get their hard-earned money back – especially those who paid cash.

“The Furniture Loft is causing so much distress and financial hardship to local people,” he said.

“I stand to lose £2,500 – that’s a lot of money.

“In dealing with this company myself, I discovered that they had no respect or consideration for their customers.

“It’s absolutely disgusting and it’s high time this kind of practice stopped to protect innocent customers.”

And a woman also contacted the Mail to vent: “We ordered and paid 50% of the price for a table and six chairs at the end of October.

“Since then, we have been chasing them frequently and have been informed of the different delivery times.

“The last promise was to deliver the goods (which they then said were all in stock now) within a week of June 5.

“No date could be given beyond that.

“We subsequently canceled the order, writing to Mr. Kimbell himself,” she said.

“No response from him has been made.

“According to various reviews now online, our experience is not isolated.

“Thought Market Harborough locals should be aware of this since the store is always ‘open for business’ when you go to their website!”

The Furniture Loft emailed customers on Friday, June 17 to say, “It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that Furniture Loft is ceasing business and cannot fulfill your order.

“We ask that you contact your card provider to discuss a request to charge back any funds already paid – please see the link below which you may find helpful:

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-do-i-use-chargeback-abZ2d4z3nT8q

“We also wanted to let you know that indigohomeinteriors.co.uk are offering to take over all existing Buoyant orders affected, which would mean that your order would not lose its position on the Buoyant manufacturing schedule should you wish to place an order with them.

“If you would like to retain your position on the Buoyant manufacturing schedule and place an order through Indigo Home Interiors, please reply to this email and we will pass the information on to them and they will contact you shortly – alternatively your existing order will be canceled with Buoyant.

“We would like to thank you for your support and habit over the years and look forward to receiving your timely instructions.”

Responding to a furious shopper on June 17, staff told them, “Please accept our apologies.

“While we fully understand and appreciate your frustrations, please note that we employees are also upset as we are all being laid off and losing our jobs, and we are doing everything we can to contact each affected customer as quickly as possible.

“We only received this (closure) information yesterday which we informed you as soon as possible – any information previously given would have been true at the time of notification.

“We currently have no control over the funds which is why we ask that you contact your card provider to discuss a request to charge back any funds previously paid – please see the link below which may be for you useful :

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-do-i-use-chargeback-abZ2d4z3nT8q

“As for Indigo Home Interiors, our secretary at Furniture Loft is only an employee here (not a director), but is the sole director of Indigo Home Interiors, which is a completely separate company from Furniture Loft and offers to support any relevant orders so customers don’t lose their place on the manufacturers’ schedule.” This is an option they offered and it’s entirely your choice if you want to accept their offer.”

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