More than 500 job losses as more Pumpkin Patch stores to close

Pumpkin Patch receivers closed seven New Zealand stores at the end of last year.

Pumpkin Patch receivers closed seven New Zealand stores at the end of last year.

A further 68 Pumpkin Patch stores are to close by the end of January, resulting in up to 560 job losses.

The company was placed in voluntary administration and receivership last year after struggling with a lack of money and too much debt.

According to a receivers' report by KordaMentha, the company owed its bank almost $60 million and its unsecured creditors another $13.2m.

Receivers to close seven NZ Pumpkin Patch stores, 57 job losses
Pumpkin Patch staff stressed, shocked and in disbelief as company liquidated

Seven stores were closed at the end of last year and head office was also restructured following an announcement by the receivers that they could not find a buyer for the business.

As well as the additional stores to close, two earthquake damaged stores that are currently closed will not reopen.

Receiver Neale Jackson said further closures were indicated in November last year.

"We have successfully traded stores through the traditional holiday period and stock levels are now considerably reduced.

"All Pumpkin Patch staff are aware that the business is closing down and that stores will gradually close as stock is sold."

He said staff have been advised of the impending closure dates.

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They will receive holiday pay, outstanding wages and other preferential entitlements up to the statutory cap in New Zealand, Jackson said.

KordaMentha said Pumpkin Patch was "severely capital constrained" before it was put into voluntary administration by its directors, and receivership swiftly afterwards by one of its secured creditors.

Difficult trading conditions and a highly competitive market had combined with unfavourable movements in the Australian dollar, and the company's financial woes had been "well telegraphed" before its demise.

Pumpkin Patch employed almost 600 people in New Zealand and 1000 in Australia.

The remaining 56 stores will be closed as and when stock is sold, through to mid-February.

 - Stuff


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