Belfast Telegraph

Supplier to Belfast Furniture Mall calls in lawyers

Shut shop's raft of bills

By Clare Weir

A supplier to the shut-down Belfast Furniture Mall says lawyers have been instructed to help recover its money.

The local firm said that it was pursuing the matter through the courts after the premises on Boucher Plaza closed suddenly almost a fortnight ago, with the disappearance of lorryloads of furniture belonging to suppliers or customers and tens of thousands of pounds worth of unpaid bills.

A spokesman for the company, which wished to remain anonymous, said that it, like many others, had been duped.

"These people sounded very credible and had experienced people from the Great Britain furniture industry involved, who we did some diligence on before accepting the work," he said.

"We are owed a fair bit of money for a business of our size, and while we do have legally valid contracts with the company, we fear we're not going to get paid.

"We have instructed our lawyers, though, and we will be pursuing this."

Another supplier has pledged to contact the PSNI over his missing mattresses.

One of the directors of Finest Furniture, the parent company of Belfast Furniture Mall, was Englishman Andrew Cohen.

He is the son of Bruce Cohen, who, along with his two brothers, owned Courts furniture retailer, which collapsed in 2004.

Meanwhile, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment's Trading Standards Service has said that customers who purchased goods or who paid a deposit using a credit or debit card may be able to reclaim their money back from their card issuer.

Customers can also contact Consumerline on 030 0123 6262 for advice.

Background

Belfast Furniture Mall was opened in December 2013.

After local family firm Fultons went into administration in July 2012, the unit on Boucher Plaza was bought back by developers Corbo and was let to a consortium parented by Finest Furniture Ltd. A number of companies in the Republic associated with Finest Furniture Ltd have either gone into administration or liquidation.

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