A wedding dress company, Edressesglobal UK Co Ltd (Edresses), registered in the UK but operating from China and the United States, was wound up in the public interest on 6 November 2013 at the High Court for filing misleading accounts and giving false trading addresses to customers.
The winding up follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service and a petition by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills.
Edresses made wedding, party and prom dresses in China and marketed them on a large number of websites targeted at customers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Australia.
The court heard that the company:
lacked any presence in its purported addresses in the UK,
failed to respond to any correspondence during the investigation,
had filed misleading accounts and its business was conducted with a lack of commercial probity.
The court also heard:
Many of Edresses websites indicated that it traded from either Portsmouth or Park Royal in North London, and returns for refunds for faulty goods could be made there. However, the company was not known at either of these addresses.
Customers were often waiting excessively long times for delivery.
Despite apparent substantial trading throughout 2012 as indicated by a Facebook campaign set up to complain about its activities, Edresses filed dormant accounts as a non-trading company for the period ending 30 November 2012. Edresses failed to produce any accounting records during the investigation.
A Facebook campaign was set up with 546 members who had been affected by Edresses activities. These members had traded with the company through its websites and were able to communicate with company employees through a live chat who confirmed that customers were dealing with Edresses and that the return address for faulty garments was in Park Royal.
The company also failed to co-operate with the investigation. Letters to the directors in China and the United States, e-mails and live chat messages all went unanswered.
Commenting on the winding up, David Hill, an Investigations Supervisor, with the Insolvency Service, Said:
Edresses took advantage of people looking for dresses for important and significant occasions in their lives but rarely delivered the goods, and winding it up protects the public from losing more money in this way.
The winding up should serve as a warning that the Insolvency Service will take action to remove rogue companies from the business environment.