The decision comes after it failed to find a buyer or fresh investment in the firm.
Rumours have been circulating in the trade for some months about the firm’s status and the recent loss of key lines such as harmonica brand Lee Oskar and recorder line Aulos, to Barnes & Mullins, following hard on the departure of Rocktron and GHS to Strings & Things has done little to quell talk that FCN is going out of business.
There are several remaining lines currently distributed by the firm including – Tycoon Percussion, K&M Stands, Dixon Drums, J.Michel brass and woodwind, Misi pickups and pre-amps, TKL cases, Panland steel drums, Lorenzo and Kimbara guitars, Kent Percussion, Fzone and SierraGuitars.
The Crowbrough-based firm was established in 1965 when two smaller family firms united. Fletcher, Coppock and Newman was based in Shelton Street in Covent Garden, and was the first UK company to import guitars from Japan. Both the Newman family and the Coppock family had several generations working in the business at that time. In 1974 it moved to Tonbridge, and again in 2001 to a new purpose-built warehouse in Crowborough.
Commerical director, Julia Thompson, told MI Pro: “Like a lot of companies that are in a similar position right now, sales have fallen recently. We have been adjusting our business model, cutting our overheads to try and cope with that decline and we’ve re-budgeted for those lower sales. But what has happened since then, mainly driven by the recession, is that sales have become even lower still.
“To cope with that we’ve cut prices, cut our margins, offered discounts and extended credit where we can, in a bid to establish some equilibrium. But the business model relies on a minimum level of sales to make it work and in the last few months it has become unsustainable. The decline in sales has acccelerated faster than we can cut costs.
“So we came to the conclusion that the company either needed to be part of a bigger business or get some new investment. But unfortunately we have had absolutely no interest, so the only solution is to perform an orderly wind-down of the company and we’re currently working our way through that.”
The firm is looking to sell off its remaining stock and is inviting retailers and suppliers to come and take at look at what remains.
Anyone interested in finding out more can contact the company on 01892 603730