The receiver of cheap clothing chain Shanton Retail, a subsidiary of Shanton Apparel, said several parties were keen on buying the eight-year-old company which has four retail outlets in the Waikato.
The company employs 122 workers and has 39 stores nationwide, including one at The Base, Te Rapa which employs two people, Centreplace Hamilton where there are three staff, and at Te Awamutu and Thames.
Staff got a phone call yesterday morning advising the chain had gone into receivership. The news was not entirely unexpected, said one staffer, as there had been ‘‘internal changes’’ recently which suggested all was not well.
Shanton Retail employs 122 worers and has 39 stores nationwide
Tauranga-based receiver Anthony Harris was yesterday appointed to the struggling retailer and its parent company, Shanton Apparel. The latter is also the owner of the homeware chain, BBB Retail – which operates as Bed, Bath & Beyond. That chain, begun in 1995, has 45 stores nationwide. It’s unclear what impact the receivership of the parent company has had on those stores.
Shanton Retail staff had been offered re-employment by the receiver. Employees would receive all outstanding wages within a week and were expected to receive their full holiday pay, Harris said. Customer gift vouchers, credits, refunds or layby would be honoured in full. Workers yesterday said they were in shock after finding out about the receivership. One manager of a provincial Shanton store, who didn’t want to be named, said she hadn’t expected the news and was worried for her staff.
Harris said the receiverships followed a period of difficult trading conditions.
“The business continues to trade all stores in receivership pending completion of a going concern sale”, he said.
Harris said he hadn’t yet completed an analysis of the company’s debts.
Company office records show the south Auckland-based Shanton Retail suffered a loss of $353, 496 for the year ended June 2011 on revenues of $24.2 million, a bigger loss than the $254,776 the year before.
It had total borrowings of $3.4 million in 2011, compared to $3.6m in 2010.
Its parent company, Shanton Apparel, is majority owned by Australian-based Atamine. Atamine’s director is Sydney rag-trade millionaire Fred Bart. Carter Trading in Auckland, and Manukau-based Taca also hold stakes in the firm.
Bart resigned as a director of all three companies, Shanton Apparel and its two subsidiaries, BBB Retail and Shanton Retail, on October 3.
Shanton Apparel, which includes the financial performance of both Shanton Retail and BBB Retail, had total revenue of $48.7m and made a bottom-line profit of $2.3m for the June 2011 year. ]
The accounts show total creditors of $6.9m. nteNew Zealand Retailers Association spokesperson Louise Evans McDonald said it was a shame that a brand that had been around for a while was suffering but the clothing sector was highly competitive.
“If you are not a store that has a particular point of differentiation, and you are in the mass market – if you don’t stand out, you are fighting for every dollar.”