Administrators appointed to Simply Scuba, a serial winner of the Diver Award for Retailer of the Year, are hoping that the business can be enabled to continue under a new owner.
The retailer was part of the Simply Group (TSG) which includes five other Simply… outdoor and leisure brands covering swimming, beachwear, hiking, skiing / snowboarding and women’s underwear. Based in Faversham, Kent, it employed 32 staff.
The company started in 1995 in a barn in the village of Chestfield as Simply Scuba Instruction, but as a diving retail operation headed by Gerrard Dennis it proved ahead of the curve in leading divers away from local dive-shops towards online buying of equipment. It also maintained a physical retail outlet at Faversham.
Underlining its popularity among divers, Simply Scuba was a Diver Awards winner in the retail category for 10 years in a row until last year, when it came second to Mike’s Dive Store.
Potential buyers were given a week to submit bids to take over the business when the closure was announced in late April. The shop had been closed during the coronavirus pandemic, which has drastically reduced demand for new diving equipment during what is normally an important sales period.
Simply Scuba Ltd’s most recent balance sheet filed at Companies House was to the end of August 2018. At that time the company reported having fixed assets of just over £423,000, up 27% on the previous year. Current assets at £1.66 million were similar to the figure for 2017, though net assets at that time showed a 38% drop to £354,400.