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Norfolk interiors firm reveals £3million losses because of coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 16:04 18 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:49 19 August 2020

Graham and Rachael Waring. Picture: Archant

Graham and Rachael Waring. Picture: Archant

Archant

The co-owner of Norfolk family firm Warings said they were axing 50 jobs – due to them being in the industry ‘worst affected’ by Covid.

Rachael and Graham Waring of Warings Furniture., pictured before coronavirus. Picture: Archant libraryRachael and Graham Waring of Warings Furniture., pictured before coronavirus. Picture: Archant library

Rachael Waring, who owns Warings Furniture with husband Graham, says that the business had been badly affected because big restaurant chains which they supplied, such as Pizza Express, had suffered closures and job cuts.

Warings also saw contracts to supply furniture for companies doing refurbishments put on hold as projects were shelved until next year, Mrs Waring added. “From March 24, we are £3m down,” she said.

However, despite being badly hit by coronavirus, Mrs Waring reiterated the firm was still operating at a profit and had plans to rebuild business in 2021.

Warings Lifestore in Westlegate, Norwich, which is reopening next month. Picture: ArchantWarings Lifestore in Westlegate, Norwich, which is reopening next month. Picture: Archant

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Mrs Waring said the firm was in an ongoing redundancy process. The 50 job losses would be almost half the workforce at the firm’s base in Watton Road, Larling, near Thetford.

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“It is a severe downturn for Warings,” she said.

Meanwhile Warings Lifestore cafe and interiors store, in Westlegate, Norwich remains closed because of coronavirus although this is planned to reopen on September 1.

Warings, a family furniture business established by Mr Waring in 1986, grew to huge success over the years, supplying furniture to huge firms like Costa Coffee and Pret A Manger.

Warings relocated its furniture business to its current 17 acre site in 2006 to accommodate its growth and then moved its coffee and interiors shop from Cattle Market Street to Westlegate in Norwich in 2016.

Mrs Waring said: “The hospitality industry has been severely affected, the worst affected industry, it is the knock-on effect on all the major chains. We are the sole supplier to Pizza Express and we supply to Costa, when you are in that position, you are going to be impacted.

“Refurbishments which would normally be ongoing and new store openings are now next year, everything has been halted.“

Mrs Waring said the cafe, which represents just 2pc of the overall business, will open in exactly the same way as before coronavirus and none of those workers were affected.

“We are still operating at a profit but a much smaller one, we have a smaller operation but we plan to retain as many skilled staff as possible and rebuild in 2021,” she said.


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