EXCLUSIVE: ‘I’ve lost £1,000 because Capitol Tiles couldn’t pay my wages’

One former retail employee of Capitol Tile Group, which filed for administration earlier this month, has reacted angrily to the way the company dealt with staff before the doors were suddenly shut on the business.

Preferring to remain anonymous, the former employee, who lost his job on the day the company went into administration, told kbbreview: “On the 8 November, we opened as usual at 8am and at 10am, administrators from Begbies Traynor turned up, gave us all a letter from the company telling us that Capitol was now in administration and that we would have to apply to the Government for our wages as the company couldn’t pay us.

“They told us to get our personal belongings as they were going to shut the shop.”

The letter, signed by former director Karen Wright, said: “I regret to advise you that the company is no longer in a position to make payments for services rendered by you. You should, therefore unfortunately, regard your services as terminated from the date of this letter.”

It continued: “I am aware that as at today’s date monies may be outstanding to you relating to arrears of pay, holiday pay, notice pay and redundancy pay. As the company is no longer in a position to meet these payments you will be required to claim any amounts due from the Redundancy Payments Service, under the Insolvency Provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996, using their online claim system.

“I would like to thank you for all your efforts during your time with the company and regret that your employment should end this way.”

The former Capitol Tiles employee told kbbreview: “I reckon I’ve lost about £1,000 as a result of Capitol not meeting our wages as I was owed overtime and commission, as well as normal pay.”

He said “alarm bells” started ringing for him when stock stopped coming into the store as quickly and some shelves were standing almost empty.

“In the last month, I was repeatedly giving my own stock to other stores to try and help them fulfil orders.”

Tile Mountain chairman Mo Iqbal bought the wholesale and distribution business of Capitol Tile Group out of administration. St Albans tile retailer BC Ceramics purchased six of Capitol Tile Group’s 11 retail outlets in a separate deal.

These included the sites in Nuneaton, Coventry, Northampton, Fulham, Stratford Road, Birmingham and Crawley.

According to the administrators, Begbies Traynor, efforts to buy the remaining retail outlets remain ongoing.

Tile Mountain said it would shut Capitol’s distribution centres in Edinburgh, Crawley and Norwich, with national distribution to be handled from Capitol’s Coventry hub in the future.

In the 12 months to April 2017, Capitol Tiles posted a pre-tax loss of almost £1 million, down from a small pre-tax profit of £151,757 the year before.

Speaking about the purchase, Iqbal said: “I have known the Capitol Tile Group for many years having previously been one of its customers. I, like many others, am saddened that it has fallen into administration.

“I am however delighted that in purchasing its wholesale and distribution divisions that I am able to secure the roles of 70 of its current staff, some of whom I have personally known since first setting out in the tile industry.”

In a statement, BC Ceramics, which had three showrooms before the purchase, said: “BC Ceramics is pleased to have completed the acquisition and is working hard to integrate the new stores into the group.

“BC Ceramics is a growing and acquisitive company, always looking to add team members and retail sites to the current estate.”

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