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Administrators looking for a buyer for Zanui

Online homewares and furniture marketplace Zanui has entered voluntary administration, according to documents filed with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

The business on October 28 appointed KPMG as administrator, with partners Gayle Dickerson, Phil Quinlan and Morgan Kelly heading up the operation.

“It’s early days in the administration process but I confidently anticipate that we will be seeking urgent expressions of interest from parties to acquire the business,” Dickerson said in a statement.

This is the second online retailer to enter voluntary administration in less than a week, following Stylerunner, suggesting it’s not just bricks-and-mortar retailers that are struggling to cope with the decline in consumer spending.

Inside Retail contacted Zanui for comment, but had not received a reply at the time of publication.

In a recent interview, however, Zanui’s managing director Yosuke Hall said the homewares sector in Australia was becoming more and more competitive, as new designers and brands entered the space while larger players like Kmart are “upping the ante”.

“I think this ultimately results in better quality products for customers,” Hall said. 

“The downturn in housing prices is making headlines at the moment, and is naturally a concern to business operating in our sector. We know that this will lead to an overall softening of the furniture and homewares market in the next year or two.”

According to Hall, while the online market for homewares in Australia is growing it still pales in comparison to what is seen internationally, with only about 3 to 4 per cent of homewares spend occurring online locally compared to 10 per cent in the US and UK.

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