Like much of what goes pop on the English market these days, Empire Direct was a fairly well known and well respected business when unceremoniously crashed and burned last month. Unlike most of these train wrecks however it has found a buyer...
Home cinema specialist Richer Sounds has stepped into the breach having "proved resilient to the downturn" (famous last words) and snapped up the online retailer from administrators KPMG. No figure was mentioned, but considering Empire Direct had gone down the swanny expect the purchase price to be little more than £3.50 and a packet of crisps.
As for the plans Richer Sounds has for Empire Direct, little was given away other than a loose line talking up the "opportunity to deliver their low-price business model and buying power to a greater number of customers." In essence, I suspect this means capitalising on its supply chain.
"We are sure this will be an exciting new chapter for the company and look forward to expanding our commitment to value and customer service through our stores and online," said Richer Sounds chairman David Robinson in a remarkably brief statement.
That said, for what he lacks in verbosity, Robinson is making up for it in generosity in standing by Empire Direct's customer warranties and giving Richer Sounds credit vouchers to any poor unfortunates with un-expired 'EdXtra' membership fees. In addition, former Empire Direct customers will be entitled to offers normally only available to Richer Sounds VIP club members.
To be fair this all makes a reasonable amount of sense. The Empire Direct brand is pretty well known (arguably as well known as Richer Sounds) and with few other companies looking to spend any kind of money during these dark economic days I suspect quite the bargain was had.
Tune in next week, when Recession II: The Deepening opens with PC World going for 50p to the local curry house while Currys is traded for a Kit Kat...