Party goods retailer closes its doors due to Covid-19

Despite being the place to go for Party Goods in Bournemouth, Peeks of Bournemouth has closed its doors for the final time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The family business has been trading from Bournemouth since the 1960s providing party goods to the hospitality trade.  In the 1990s the popular Peeks Party Store was opened to the public.

The company has seen out recessions and economic downturns, but has been significantly affected by Brexit, as the hospitality trade cut back on the purchase of non-essential products.  The directors put in place a strategy for the long term survival of the company to include downsizing and cost cutting which commenced in January 2020.  Following the government announcement in March 2020  that pubs should close with no notice, the company’s trade was cut overnight.  Large events such as VE Day, The Euros and The Olympics which were set to be big earners for the company were cancelled or postponed.  On 24th March 2020 following the government guidance the company closed its doors and made use of the Furlough Scheme.

Peeks of Bournemouth Limited

With the uncertainty of when pubs and hotels would reopen and with costs cut as far as they could be, it became clear to the directors that they were unable to continue as they simply did not have the funds to see the pandemic through.  The directors instructed Dorset and Hampshire based Portland Business Recovery to assist with the steps necessary to wind up the company.

Nicola Layland from Portland commented:

“Covid-19 has had an unprecedented effect on companies, particularly those servicing the hospitality trade.  Unfortunately the government support was not sufficient to keep the company going during its closedown.  As the company was not specifically in the hospitality trade it was unable to obtain some of the support available.  The decision was a difficult one for the directors, particularly given this has been a family business for generations.  The directors could see that they would not have sufficient funding to get through the issues caused by the pandemic and therefore wanted to make a decision at an early stage to close rather than increasing debts which could not be paid.”

Whilst the closure has resulted in job losses, the employees are now able to claim for amounts owing from the Redundancy Payments Office, Portland is assisting with this process.

Nicola further added:

“Covid-19 is causing issues the likes of which company owners have never seen before.  Taking advice is key and we would recommend that directors speak with their accountants or business advisors at an early stage if they are facing difficulties.  The team at Portland are always available if any director has concerns about their company’s financial affairs and wants to discuss their options”