Week wait likely on Sam’s Warehouse fate

IT could be a week before it is known whether the Border’s remaining Sam’s Warehouse store is forced to shut its doors.

The discount retailer’s parent group, DSG Holdings Australia Pty Ltd, was placed in receivership this week.

DSG operates the retailers Sam’s Warehouse and Crazy Clarks, which have 143 stores across Australia.

These include the Sam’s Warehouse at the Five Ways at North Albury.

Rahul Goyal, of receivers KordaMentha Restructuring, said the “immediate priority” was to get out of unprofitable stores.

Mr Goyal said that, at the same time, receivers were consolidating stock and organising a going-concern sale “for at least part of the business”.

And a spokesman for the receivers yesterday said that while it was too early to know whether the North Albury store was unprofitable, that was expected to become clearer within days.

“Decisions will be made on some stores by the end of this week,” the spokesman said.

“I can’t say exactly which ones they’ll be at this stage — they’re still being analysed.”

A Sam’s Warehouse store in Olive Street in central Albury closed in October, 2012, with the loss of eight jobs, after its then-parent company, Retail Adventures, went into voluntary administration.

The Olive Street building — once home to a Coles supermarket and a Billy Guyatts store — is now occupied by retailers Captain Snooze and Pillow Talk.

It was announced on Tuesday that Mr Goyal and his KordaMentha colleague David Winterbottom had been appointed receivers and managers of DSG Holdings Australia Pty Ltd.

That followed the appointment of Steve Nicols, of Nicols + Brien, as voluntary administrator of DSG.

The everyday operations of the North Albury store — along with all other stores in the Sam’s Warehouse and Crazy Clarks chains — are now under the control of the receivers.

“We will be immediately exploring the on-going concern sale of the profitable Crazy Clarks and Sam’s Warehouse stores,” Mr Goyal said.

“All stores are in sale mode so there should be great value for our customers while we work through that process.”

While the short-term outlook for customers is bright, it is not so promising for staff — the jobs of up to 2500 workers across the country are at stake.

DSG is owned by Jan Cameron, who is the founder of Kathmandu.

She bought Sam’s Warehouse and Crazy Clarks out of administration for $59 million in February last year.

Mr Goyal said it appeared the pressure on DSG had been caused by a general decline in the retail sector, especially for the type of discretionary items found in Sam’s Warehouse and Crazy Clarks.

The chains sell a range of household goods, including furniture, clothing and leisure goods.

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