Family company is put up for sale

FULTONS, the long established Lurgan family firm, has been put up for sale.

The Queen Street outlet, along with the outlets in Belfast, have been put on the market by the administrator of Fultons Fine Furnishings.

The administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), were appointed in July at the owners’ request and the company’s shops have remained open.

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It is understood that the shops may be sold separately but an option also exists to lease the shops on a short or long-term basis.

“We have had discussions with a number of interested parties,” said a spokesman for the administrators. “As administrators we are acting for the creditors and will talk to anyone bringing forward a proposal that would benefit the creditors.

“Since we have been appointed we are happy to talk to anyone in relation to the property or retail units.”

The business began in Lurgan 50 years ago. It opened a Belfast operation in 1991 and moved to its new lavish purpose-built premises on the Boucher Road in 2006.

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Fultons has become a renowned retailer for customers looking for upmarket fine furnishings.

Ten different departments over two floors in the Belfast store are filled with elegant showrooms for bathrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, offices and kitchens to give customers inspiration for impressive interior decor.

The various Fultons activities also include a number of commercial and residential property interests and collectively employ a total of 41 people.

Fultons fell into the hands of administrators only a week after its property arm, Fultons Fine Furnishings Limited, suffered the same fate.

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The furniture division of the firm consists of a shop in Queen Street, Lurgan, where the firm started, and two shops at Balmoral Plaza in Belfast.

The property business recorded a profit in the latest accounts filed at Companies House for the year ended February 2010 of just over £12,000 which was sharply down on the £1m it made in the end to the end of February 2007.