Swindon staff told to go home as national firm goes bust

The national Optiplan Kitchen firm has gone bust with staff from its Swindon store told they no longer have jobs <i>(Image: Google Maps)</i>
The national Optiplan Kitchen firm has gone bust with staff from its Swindon store told they no longer have jobs (Image: Google Maps)

Staff at the Swindon branch of a national firm were stunned when they were told their employer had gone into administration.

They received the news that Optiplan Kitchens - a UK firm with 13 showrooms nationwide - had given notice of intention to appoint an administrator on Wednesday and that they had all been made redundant and needed to go home.

They say nothing has gone into or out of the Kelvin Road, Greenbridge Industrial Estate warehouse since then. The showroom gate is locked shut and a notice has been put on the reception door to let people know.

A security guard stationed outside said he's been told that "no one is allowed to walk onto the site".

One former member of staff had found new employment before the unexpected redundancies but their friends found out they didn't have a job anymore.

They said: "It was common knowledge that the business was struggling, which was why I got a new job, but I don't think any of us really knew how bad things really were until now. I think we all thought they would turn it around."

In a statement provided to employees to let them know - seen by the Adver - Optiplan CEO Jason Limbert told them that there was no viable alternative.

He said: "Optiplan Kitchens Limited has faced numerous challenges since the outbreak of Covid-19. Initially, the complete cessation of its operations was followed by prolonged periods of showroom closures due to changing Covid restrictions. Post-Covid challenges in the supply chain have resulted in severe business disruption alongside rapidly escalating costs that the business has struggled to pass on to its customers quickly enough.

"Despite taking action to restructure the business in April this year, escalating utility costs and further material cost increases have eroded the benefits that were achieved from this.

"Given the ongoing economic challenges with seemingly no end in sight to the high levels of ongoing inflation, we have reached the conclusion that there is no viable alternative to this action."

The Google listing for the business in Swindon states it is permanently closed and the phoneline for the Swindon branch rings off the hook.

There has been no official statement from the company.

The Adver approached Optiplan Kitchens for comment and was told: "Optiplan is in the process of appointing an administrator and a point of contact is expected to be confirmed in the coming days. This contact will be put on all channels for consumers to find once it is available."