Family-run retailer Welch Sports shuts after 22 years

Family-run retailer Welch Sports shuts after 22 years

A long-established family-run sports retailer has gone into voluntary liquidation, closing its two remaining stores in Cork.

Welch Sports Ltd, which traded for 22 years, closed its Maylor St store earlier this year and its Douglas Village Shopping Centre store this month.

Welch Sports: The company closed its Maylor St store earlier this year.
Welch Sports: The company closed its Maylor St store earlier this year.

The company is registered to Neil and Amanda Welch, with an address in Thika Lodge, Currabinny, Co Cork. Company accounts show the Welchs were equal shareholders.

Unaudited financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2017, show the company had current assets of €410,495, with €581,776 falling due to debtors within one year, leaving net current liabilities of €171,281.

A figure of €35,350 is given for total assets less current liabilities, while the figure for net assets is €6,957.

The accounts were not audited as the company was able to avail of a specified small business exemption as per the 2014 Companies Act.

The statements show that the company employed 23 sales assistants in 2016 and 21 in 2017.

Management and administration positions reduced from six to five over the same two years. Wages and salaries for the year to the end of March 2017 amounted to €494,391.

Directors’ remuneration amounted to €102,939 in 2017, down from €114,668 in 2016.

A meeting of creditors was held in Cork on August 16 at which Aidan H Heffernan of HK Corporate Recovery was appointed liquidator.

Online competition from online sales of sportswear is believed to have contributed to the demise of Welch Sports Ltd’s high street stores.

The company opened its first store on Winthrop Lane before moving to Maylor St in the mid 1990s. It also opened stores in Bandon, Midleton, and Carrigaline, which closed down over the last number of years.

An analyst’s observation based on examination of the documents filed with the Companies Registration Office rated the company’s probability of failure at 6.2% “The average probability of failure for Irish companies is currently 1.5%, so a value of 6.2% is 4.1 times higher than average making this company high risk,” said the analyst.

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