Godfreys Group enters voluntary administration, several New Zealand stores to be closed

A Godfreys store at Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia.
A Godfreys store at Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images / SMH / Ben Rushton.

Australian retailer Godfreys has announced it will be closing down several of its Aotearoa-based stores after filing for voluntary administration on Tuesday. 

Godfreys, operated by New Zealand Vacuum Cleaner Company Limited, will keep their doors open while administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) carry out a restructure and sale. 

Godfreys Group also entered voluntary administration for its Australian business. 

Stephen White and John Fisk of PwC New Zealand have been appointed as voluntary administrators of the New Zealand arm. 

White said he and Fisk will work closely with their Australian counterparts to keep the stores trading "in order to maximise the prospects of a going concern sale". 

Godfreys has 16 company-operated and nine franchisee-operated stores across Aotearoa. According to the voluntary administrators, it's likely five of the company-operated stores will close. 

More than 600 staff both here and in Australia are affected. 

PwC Australia's Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley have been tasked with administration across the ditch. 

Crosbie said Godfreys has faced tough economic times. 

"Lower customer demand amid cost of living pressures, higher operating costs, and increased competition have all taken a toll on profitability, with some stores more impacted than others." 

The administrators will contact staff, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in the coming days. 

Founded in 1931 in Australia with headquarters in Melbourne, the business specialises in commercial floor-care and cleaning products.

*This story was updated on 31 January 2024 to correct the number of stores expected to close.