Willetts Furniture Company has been placed in receivership at the request of managing director Colin Willetts. The ODT reports that Colin is confident the company can trade its way back to profitability and I hope so.
The company is a long –term anchor tenant in Oamaru’s historic precinct. It was launched in 1985, just as the ag-sag was starting to bite and was one of few good news business stories in the area at that time and for several years afterwards. It makes beautiful timber furniture, including the new Eco range which uses plantation timber such as pine and treats it with a special process so it looks like native timber.
Willetts developed overseas markets for its quality rimu furniture but much of this was lost when Government legislated to ban logging of native forests in 2003. The high dollar and cheap imports will also have made competing on overseas and domestic markets more difficult.