Administrator seeks suitors for Confetti

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The Independent Online

The retail and online weddings firm Confetti has become the latest wedding business to collapse into administration, potentially hitting the plans of up to 1,100 couples for their big day.

The administration came just four days after an online retailer, The Hut Group, bought Confetti and the gifting business iwantoneofthose (IWOOT), for £600,000 from the ailing home shopping group Findel.

The collapse of Confetti follows the administration of the wedding retailer Wrapit in August 2008 with debts of more than £7m.

The Hut Group, which purchased the two businesses via its acquisition of Findel's CWIO subsidiary, appointed RSM Tenon as administrator on 13 August. The internet retailer did not return calls but it is thought it will continue operating IWOOT.

Founded in 1999, Manchester-based Confetti delivered turnover of about £5.7m. RSM Tenon plans to sell Confetti as a going concern and set a date for closing offers of Monday evening. But it has already made 47 of Confetti's staff redundant after closing its five stores in Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Reading and London.

RSM will retain 36 employees to support the online business. Confetti sells a range of supplies for weddings, ranging from venue hire to dresses, but it is thought that most of the outstanding orders are of a relatively low transactional value, such as invitations and table settings.

Kenny Craig, the joint administrator and director with RSM Tenon, said: "The administrators advise that there are some 1,100 orders outstanding with an average value of £45. They are currently looking into the position regarding these orders with a view to fulfil them from stock if possible."

The Hut Group sells consumer products, such as DVDs and computer games, on its own websites, but it also provides the technology platform for retailers, including Tesco, Asda, Argos and WHSmith.

The Government this month banned Wrapit's two former directors, Peter Gelardi and Pepita Diamand, for a combined 15 years after it found the company made "false credit card refunds" totalling £243,445 just before it collapsed in 2008.