British luxury furnishings retailer exiting U.S. business

DALLAS — British luxury home furnishings brand Oka has ceased operations in the U.S., and its Oka USA subsidiary and certain of its affiliates filed for Chapter 7 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas on June 11.

The filing is part of the London-based company’s restructuring plan, organized as a company voluntary arrangement, put in place to reconfigure and reduce its cost base and restructure its balance sheet.

“Oka is a well-loved U.K. brand, and the CVA, if approved, will enable the business to stabilize its operations and focus on its core U.K. market after the headwinds it has faced in the past,” CEO Mark Saunders said in a statement. “A successful CVA process will secure the long-term future of the business.”

As such, Oka is winding down its U.S. operations, including closing stores in Houston, Dallas and Westport, Conn., and an e-commerce platform. In the statement, Oka officials noted that U.S. operations have been loss-making since their inception, and those issues have created working capital and liquidity issues for the company. It noted that those issues, coupled with post-COVID problems and a British cost-of-living crisis, prompted the decision as it is opting to focus on its business in the U.K.

In the Chapter 7 filing, Oka USA reported estimated assets of $10,000,001 to $50 million against liabilities of $10,000,001 to $50 million owed to an estimated 1,000 to 5,000 creditors.

A report dated June 19 by the Westport (Conn.) Journal noted that its local store had closed. On its U.S. website, it has the following notice: “As a result of the Chapter 7 filing, we have ceased all business operations in the US effective immediately. As such at this time, we are no longer accepting new orders via our US website or stores.”

Oka was founded in 1999 by Viscountess Annabel Astor, Sue Jones and Lucinda Waterhouse and was acquired by Italian investment firm Investindustrial in 2018. That same year, it made its first U.S. acquisition when it bought Wisteria.

See also:

  • Bankruptcy judge okays payouts for former Bed Bath & Beyond execs
  • Texas bedding retailer files for Chapter 11 protection

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