Made.com co-founder: I’d help revive brand – Chloe Macintosh would be willing to step in if a rescuer for online furniture retailer could be foundBy Archie Mitchell, Financial Mail On Sunday Published: 17:54 EDT, 5 November 2022 | Updated: 17:54 EDT, 5 November 2022
Pledge: Chloe Macintosh says she still feels ‘very close’ to the brandChloe Macintosh, one of the founders of embattled retailer Made.com, last night said she would be willing to help revive the brand if a rescuer could be found. The online furniture retailer is poised to appoint administrators from PwC. It emerged yesterday that stores giant Next has launched a dramatic bid for Made.com. Mike Ashley’s Frasers is also said to be interested. The crisis for the business has left customers in the lurch – though those who bought with credit cards will be able to get refunds. The French entrepreneur, now based in London, said she would ‘love to contribute’ to restoring the online furniture shop to its former glory if a credible buyer emerges. The 47-year-old set up Made with Brent Hoberman, Ning Li and Julien Callede 12 years ago in a rundown office block in West London’s Notting Hill.Their vision was to make high-end furniture accessible to everyone, and the business quickly grew to £315million of sales in 2021. Macintosh, a serial entrepreneur, left Made in 2015 and currently runs Kama – a sexual wellness app. She described the collapse as ‘sad’, adding that she still feels ‘very close’ to the brand. The online shop failed after a series of management mis-steps which left the business carrying millions of pounds of furniture that it could not sell. It has also been buffeted by supply chain disruption on imports from the Far East and, more recently, the cost-of-living crisis. Macintosh said Made was still a ‘really good business’, adding: ‘I’m not underestimating the efforts that the current team is putting in to resolve this. ‘But if somebody comes about who actually sees a solution and wants to invest in it – because they believe it can be done – I would love to contribute to bringing back the essence of the brand.’ She said that technology companies drive hard for growth and can ‘just lose sight’ of other important aspects of running a business.’That’s what happened,’ she said of Made. ‘And it happens more often than the success stories, even though this one is particularly sad.’
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