HOUSEOLOGY Design Group, an online design retailer, has said part of its business has been placed in administration.

The Glasgow-based company, which raised £1 million in crowdfunding in 2016, comprises, an online B2C design store, and Bureau, a B2B commercial furniture consultancy.

The business-to-customer part of the business has been hit, while the business-to-business area of the company, based in Edinburgh, is unaffected.

The company, which has its head office in Speirs Wharf, Glasgow, has ceased trading and 23 employees have been made redundant. 

A small number of employees have been retained by the Joint Administrators to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities.

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A spokesman for the company said that the troubled part of the business had been hit by poor e-commerce trading over the festive season and also wider market dynamics.

In July, Shane Corstorphine, senior vice president at Skyscanner, replaced Bill Dobbie as chairman at the group, which was backed by Sir Terry Leahy, the former Tesco chief, and a number of other high-profile retail entrepreneurs.

Laura Jamieson, previously with PwC and Aggreko, was hired as the company’s new chief financial in August.

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The spokesman for the Houseology Design Group said: “The board explored a number of alternative options for the B2C division.

“Unfortunately, due to exceptionally poor e-commerce trading across the Christmas period and January and wider market dynamics that showed no signs of improvement in the short to medium term, administration was agreed to be in the best interests of the group going forward.

“However, we are confident that the group’s assets will prove attractive to a buyer in the days and weeks to come.

“The business will now focus on its B2B division which experienced its best ever year in 2019 and is on track for continuing year-on-year growth in 2020.”

Mr Robb said: “Unfortunately, having assessed the Company’s trading and financial performance, it was not possible to continue to trade its e-commerce business, and, as such, 23 employees have been made redundant with immediate effect. 

“We appreciate that this is disappointing news for the company’s staff and we are working with Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) to provide them with the best support possible.”

The company said that it is confident that the group’s assets "will prove attractive to a buyer".