The newly-formed company acquired the warehouse and other assets from EE, which went into administration last month leaving ‘thousands’ of shops stuck paying third-party lease hire agreements for services and goods they would no longer receive. The new firm also signed a deal to take over as the exclusive UK distributor of Flymax coffee machines.

In a letter, PCE said it would waiver call-out labour costs for stores that had an Espresso Essential machine within the standard 12-month warranty, but added that the ‘maintenance arrangement fee’ will apply to all repairs. Discussing the stock owed by EE to its customers, PCE boss Steve Lawley said: “We are not in a position to honour any commitments made by the directors of Espresso Essential.”

A spokesperson for PCE advised betterRetailing that stores awaiting machine repairs were likely to experience delays as after taking over the warehouse, they discovered there were no spare parts or machines available. A large parts order has been placed.