Marlow Timber Supplies in Orlando Street.
Marlow Timber Supplies in Orlando Street.

Marlow Timbers goes under

YOU can see it on David Marlow’s face.

Here is a man who fought the good fight only to ultimately concede his best efforts were in vain.

Tuesday he said goodbye to his extended family – the staff at Marlow Timbers – as he placed the business he ran with his wife Suzie into voluntary administration.

“It has been a day I don’t want to have over again, ever,” Mr Marlow said.

“Telling our staff that they no longer had jobs was so hard to do. But it had to be done.”

Mr Marlow said while the entitlements of his 13 staff were secured, his family’s own future was not.

“I’d like people to understand that Suzie and I have two beautiful daughters aged 16 and 20 who have taken the news very badly,” he said.

“We have lost everything. We poured all our life savings into trying to save this business, we cashed in all our superannuation and even sold our home.

“What scares us most is that suddenly at 53 years of age and having worked all our lives, we have nothing.”

Mr Marlow says a triple whammy of factors played their part in the demise of a company that was Coffs Harbour’s last independent timber and hardware supplier to the building industry.

“We moved to Coffs Harbour 12 years ago to work at Gaywood Timbers which we bought out in September 2004. We have battled to service the Gaywood debt we inherited but the last 12 months was the hardest trading period we’ve ever experienced.

“We got hit by the global financial crisis, a rush of local builders going out of business and owing us money and then the floods. We could have coped with any one of those in isolation but not all three at once.

“We bought in experts in January to help us service our debt but when on Monday one of our major suppliers said their debtors insurance wouldn’t cover us any more, we contacted an administrator who advised us to shut up shop.”

Yesterday afternoon Mr Marlow and his staff were busily trying to fill pre-paid builder’s orders.

He was unsure if he would be open for business today.

“The outpouring of support has been overwhelming since word got out that we were closing. I now only hope that my staff get new jobs. Without a doubt they are the best workers you could hope for.

Prominent local builder Brian Hopwood was one of Marlow Timber’s biggest clients.

He said he was sad to hear of the company’s collapse.

“It is such a shame,” Mr Hopwood said. “David and Suzie were lovely people who ran a great business.”

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