End of the road for Neue Alno

German kitchen maker Neue Alno has failed to find an investor and the management has announced that the company is to cease operations by the end of September.

This will mean the loss of 230 jobs at it its Pfullendorf plant and the management has said that a transfer company may be set up to help employees find new jobs.

The company said that existing orders would be fulfilled until the end of September in consultation with customers.

The restructuring in administration planned to commence on September 1 did not go ahead because of the lack of a suitable investor and the management came to the conclusion that the business operations of Neue Alno GmbH and BBT Bodensee Nahrungsmittel would have to be closed at the end of September.

The management, under joint managing directors Michael Spadinger and Jochen Braun (pictured left to right) commented: “As a result, despite a broad approach to potential investors, unfortunately no investor could be found who would continue the operational business of the companies. Due to the economic situation, business operations cannot be continued on their own.”

Kbbreview understands that UK retailers received an email today (September 8) from Alno’s UK representative informing them of the situation and saying that the company would endeavour to supply outstanding orders to every customer with orders in the system.

Kbbreview spoke to some retailers who will be affected by the closure, and the general feeling was one of sadness at losing a good brand.

Saf Ahmed, director of Inova Kitchens in Luton, told kbbreview: “It is sad. I didn’t trade with them much and I knew they had difficulties last year after Covid implementing their new infrastructure. I don’t think we will know what really happened, but I think their vision was brilliant in terms of what they were planning and, had it all gone smoothly, I think they would have been very successful with what they were offering.

“They inherited problems and they were ironing them out and it was challenging for them because everything happened at the same time – the supply chain, software, personnel, training. Even the strongest companies have issues, but this was just very bad timing.”

He continued: “It is very sad to see as I was really looking forward to seeing the product and moving forward with it. I felt that it was going to give the German kitchen industry a real run for its money.”

You might also like:   Ex-JJO man to head up Häcker UK sales team

In terms of how it might affect his customers going forward, Ahmed added: “We have no outstanding orders in the pipeline, but with the one we did do recently there may be warranty issues. But we very rarely have issues with kitchens after they have been installed anyway, so I am not too worried about that. But I feel sorry for retailers who may have clients asking for their money back, the disruption and the loss of business – and having to rearrange people’s projects is challenging.”

At Kitchen Partners in Bristol, designer Vicki Elmore was also sad to see Alno go. She said: “I think we are sad that it has gone. It was a good product and when it resurfaced as Neue Alno, we did try to get behind it, but I think fairly quickly we found there were still errors with deliveries, items missing, which for us was a familiar pattern. We were going to put a new display in the showroom but held off until they had got themselves together and in that time it became more and more obvious that that wasn’t going to happen. We had to stop selling it towards the end of last year over our other suppliers, unless it was a particular door colour no one else could do. So we have no future orders, but it will impact those people who have got an Alno kitchen and need remedial items.

“We will deal with it as best we can and move on. We got over it last time when everything was supplied by Alno, so we will manage the situation this time as well as we can.”

One retailer contacted by kbbreview that does a lot of business with the company declined to comment.

The brand – which has been owned by European investment firm RiverRock since 2017 – started insolvency proceedings on July 2 at Hechingen district court. After being placed in self-administration, the managing directors Jochen Braun and Michael Spadinger were provided with an administrator by the insolvency court as the company continued to search for investors.

Have something to say? Email the editor