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The Rise And Fall Of Matt Blatt

One of the retail industry’s latest casualties to COVID-19, Australian replica furniture retailer Matt Blatt announces its closure.

Matt Blatt is infamous amongst members of the architecture and design industry. Since foundation in 1981 by Adam Drexler many have taken issue with its business model selling replica furniture to knowing and unknown consumers alike. Herman Miller even sued the company in 2011 – unsuccessfully in case you missed it.

Despite the controversy the national retailer was going strong with 12 brick-and-mortar stores across Australia, an e-commerce site and a strong advertising and marketing presence. Until recently that is, alongside Myer, Target and David Jones, Matt Blatt is officially one of the retail industry’s biggest COVID-19 casualties.

Drexler is also the director of Badam Trading Co., the company that owned Matt Blatt, and chose in late March to close all 12 of the Matt Blatt retail stores.

“We felt that with all shops closed, and no income, no sales, it would be a hard slog to recover,” said Adam Drexler to Inside Retail in an article written by Heather McIlvaine and published online 8 April. “I personally believe that things won’t return to normal. There will be a big recession for many years, and that’s when a lot of companies will struggle.”

Matt Blatt is undergoing liquidation by David Solomons of Sydney firm dVT Group. Solomons was appointed liquidator by Drexler 22 May.

It is understood that at the time of collapse $11million was owed to creditors, $4million to another company under the Badam Trading Co. umbrella, $1million to the tax office and $600,000 to staff.

Although revenue was up by 8.5 percent in FY18 compared to FY17, the cost of wages, rent and freight has reportedly resulted in a year-on-year decrease in before-tax profit by a balking 82.3 per cent.

Habitus sourced information for this article from Inside Retail, The Guardian Australia, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

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