Online furniture shop Zanui collapses and turns to KPMG for sale

04 November 2019 3 min. read
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Online home and furniture shop Zanui has been put up for sale after abruptly nosediving into voluntary administration. Big Four accounting and advisory firm KPMG has been appointed to oversee the process.

Zanui’s intentions to sell came to light after the company submitted its financial accounts to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). Established in 2011, Zanui is an Alexandria-based ecommerce platform focused on the homeware domain, offering a range of home products from furniture to baby products.

The firm prides itself on its user-friendly online interface that is designed to make the shopping experience enjoyable. However, Zanui’s sales have been slowing down recently, according to managing director Yosuke Hall for three main reasons.

The first of these is the increasing competitiveness sweeping through Australia’s ecommerce market. A study from global management consultancy Bain & Company last month revealed that online channels are increasingly dominating the retail space in Australia, driving many retailers to explore the option.

Online furniture shop Zanui collapses and turns to KPMG sale

According to Hall, major players in the homeware sector such as K-Mart have recognised this trend and are ramping up their operations, eating into the market share of smaller players like Zanui. Hall also anticipates that slowing of growth in Australia’s real estate sector – which is also undergoing digital disruption – is set to negatively impact the homeware sector in the long run, while growth in the country’s ecommerce sector is significantly behind that of major international markets.

Against the heating backdrop, Zanui has fallen into voluntary administration inciting Hall to offload the business. “I think this ultimately results in better quality products for customers. The downturn in housing prices is making headlines at the moment, and is naturally a concern to business operating in our sector. We know that this will lead to an overall softening of the furniture and homewares market in the next year or two,” said Hall.

KPMG has been called in to help with the selling process, and the professionals responsible have expressed confidence that Zanui is an interesting target. “It’s early days in the administration process but I confidently anticipate that we will be seeking urgent expressions of interest from parties to acquire the business,” said Gayle Dickerson, who is among the administrators.

Gayle Dickerson, who is a partner in KPMG Australia’s Restrucutring Services division, is joined by fellow Restructuring Services partners Phil Quinlan and Morgan Kelly. They are at the moment undertaking an “immediate assessment of the financial and operational status” of the business.

Meanwhile, Zanui is continuing to trade as usual and continuing to take and fulfil orders.