Fancy dress brand Smiffys on brink after failing to find buyer

A fancy dress manufacturer which traces its roots back to the 19th century is on the brink of insolvency after failing to find a buyer.

Sky News has learnt that Smiffys, which is family-owned, is lining up PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as administrators, having tried to secure a sale in recent weeks.

A notice of intention to appoint administrators was filed on Thursday.

Smiffys, which was founded in 1894, ships more than 26 million items of fancy dress annually, according to the company's website.

It distributes 7,500 products to thousands of stockists around the world.

The company is understood to have been beset by overstocking problems in recent months.

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"Following four extremely challenging years as a result of the pandemic, the subsequent supply chain crisis, and the ongoing inflationary burden on both businesses and consumers, Smiffys was required to take the difficult decision yesterday to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators," the company said.

"This does not mean the company is in administration; rather, this allows Smiffys to explore a number of potential options, with the ultimate aim of securing a sustainable business for the future.

"Smiffys will continue to trade and fulfil orders as normal during this time, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank our talented Smiffys team and loyal customers for their ongoing support."

PwC declined to comment.