A report on the collapse of electrical retailer Empire Direct is to be examined by Government officials.

The firm’s administrators will refer their findings about the running of the company to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

Empire Direct, which started as a small shop in Bradford, ceased trading on January 19, leaving thousands of customers without the goods they had ordered. Administrators KPMG has warned customers who paid in cash they have little prospect of being repaid.

Officials will examine the findings to see if there have been any breaches of company law in the firm‘s final weeks of trading.

Pensioner Mabel Summers, 84, of Clayton, Bradford, was among the firm’s customers who have lost their money.

Mrs Summers, who is a wheelchair user, paid £479 for a television from the Empire Direct store in Bradford hours before the firm closed its doors and went into administration.

Her daughter Jean Page said: “We haven’t had the heart to tell my mum yet.

“This is an elderly woman on a pension, I can’t believe they had the cheek to take her money. It would be bad enough if it had done this to us but to do it to my 84 year old mother makes us feel even worse.”

Administrator Mark Firmin said: “The customer phone line has received a thousand calls a day from concerned customers and so I am very aware of how regrettable this situation is for many customers of Empire Direct.

“Those who have paid by card should contact their card provider to establish whether they are entitled to a refund. We will be working with the card providers to facilitate refunds.”