The internationalisation of ILVA reverses the common trend of retail internationalisation offered by literature. ILVA, rather than making acquisitions of other stores, was acquired by Martin Toogood in 2003, with a view to internationalise into the UK. Martin Toogood believed that there was a gap in the UK middle market of furniture retailing.
In July 2007 the Daily Telegraph reported that the company had run up losses of £11.5 million.
The store was sold to the Icelandic furniture group Rúmfatalagerinn in August 2007, but losses continued to mount as the company was losing £2.33 for every £1 taken.
In March and April 2008 their Manchester store was attacked by criminals firing ball bearings at the windows. There were two separate attacks which cost the business £10,000 due to the size of the windows which had been attacked.
On 25 June 2008, ILVA placed its UK business into administration. On 18 July 2008 the joint administrators announced that they had been unable to secure a buyer for the business after an interested party withdrew at the last minute and that all three stores would close over the following six to twelve weeks. A closing down sale started immediately to sell as much stock as possible. All three stores will close permanently on 22 September 2008.
Administator, Kroll, brought the closing date forward as stock reduced. ILVA closed its doors in the UK on Sunday 7th September 2008.