Suffolk: Jobs threat as furniture firm Mark Elliot confirms shop closures

THE future of a well-known luxury furniture brand based in East Anglia is shrouded in uncertainty following the launch of closing down sales at its shops.

It is understood that store managers at Mark Elliot, which is based at Beccles and has seven shops, at locations including Southwold and Sicklesmere, near Bury St Edmunds, were told on Monday to start the closing down sales and that they would be made redundant when the shops closed.

Customers are thought to have been told that their orders will be honoured and staff assured that their wages will be paid.

There was no one available for comment at the company’s head office in Beccles today except to confirm that all the stores would close. It is not clear if the shop closures will affect the factory side of the business.

The Mark Elliot brand has a turbulent recent history. Mark Elliot Furniture Ltd went into administration in July 2010 and was bought by turnaround specialist SKG. The business continued to trade as MEF Manufacturing Ltd, securing 64 jobs.

However, MEF Manufacturing Ltd went into administration on August 30 last year, with its assets and order book being sold to ME Beccles Ltd and ME Stamford Ltd.

There are also Mark Elliot shops in Norwich, Holkham, Stamford, Cheltenham and Monmouth.

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A member of staff at one of the shops said: “I only knew when the posters went up. It is a real shame because it is the end of an era.

“The response from customers has been emotional. Everyone knows what Mark Elliot is. We do not know any more than what I’ve told customers though,” the worker added.