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MFI Retail was the subject of a second management buyout in September 2008, but by this stage the British economy was sliding into recession, unemployment was rising and retail sales were falling. Early on 25 November 2008, the BBC first reported the possibility of MFI Retail going into administration, with MFI desiring a three-month rent free period from landlords.
Later the following day, it was announced that no agreement could be reached and Property Week reported that Menzies Corporate Restructuring had been appointed as administrators.).
New and exclusive to MFI was its "Space Genie" range which were ingenious storage solutions for the kitchen and bedroom.
MFI was also one of the largest suppliers of installed appliances in the United Kingdom with its own brand "Diplomat".Anecdotally, it was said at one stage that one in three Sunday lunches in the United Kingdom were cooked in a kitchen from MFI, and 60% of British children were conceived in a bedroom from MFI.After success in its early decades, it experienced recurring financial problems accompanied by several changes of ownership, and on 26 November 2008, it was announced that the business had been placed into administration.As part of this expansion, Victoria announced on 17 March 2016 that it was set to revive the MFI brand name, to represent its exclusive collection of low-cost, value-for-money bedroom furniture.The MFI Retail business was founded in 1964 as Mullard Furniture Industries by two British men, Noel Lister and Donald Searle, who previously traded in war surplus goods. The company became a public company in 1971, as MFI Warehouses (the Group).
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When the Watchdog crew arrived at a branch of the company, they were immediately confronted by a manager who evicted them from the store.