One of the best-known manufacturing names in the mobility industry, AJ Way & Co Ltd, has ceased trading and entered into administration, it has been confirmed.
Rumours have been circulating around the industry over the last couple of days that the company was in difficulty but this morning AJ Way’s managing director, Tony Mercer, confirmed it had entered administration, despite efforts to turn the firm around.
AJ Way, which was a major rise and recliner supplier to mobility retailers, was approached by a potential buyer but the party withdrew its offer in the final stages of due diligence, leaving the board of directors no other choice than to put the business into administration.
The manufacturer was acquired by the Kirton Healthcare Group in 2010, after which revenues declined.
The business took steps to compete by reducing selling prices, however the manufacturing costs and overheads were not reduced sufficiently to avoid margin erosion, resulting in a loss-making business, according to directors.
In May 2017 Kirton was acquired by Direct Healthcare Group, leaving AJ Way as an independent company.
During the next 18 months the board attempted to turn the business around by reducing costs, increasing output and growing sales revenues.
The board also invested £100,000 of personal money into the business to keep it trading while undergoing a restructure.
This morning AJ Way issued an e-mail to its trade customers stating that in conjunction with its administrators, it is formulating a strategy that “may involve completing some chairs that were already substantially built”.
It added that the company’s telephones are no longer manned and customers should instead contact the administrators, A S McGill and G L Lemon from Smith & Williamson, Birmingham. They can be contacted on 0121 710 5200.
A statement from the company said: “The board of directors and management team would like to thank the customers loyal to the AJ Way brand and company, some for many years, for their business throughout our tenure and hope that they find suitable products to fill the gap that the AJ Way products leave in their businesses.”