Sam's Warehouse Albury back in business

Sam’s Warehouse at North Albury has escaped the axe. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
Sam’s Warehouse at North Albury has escaped the axe. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

NORTH Albury discount retailer Sam’s Warehouse has escaped the axe that yesterday fell on 29 other DSG Holdings stores.

The future of the Border store was thrown into doubt last week when DSG went into receivership.

Receivers KordaMentha Restructuring had made determining which stores were profitable and those that had to shut its priority.

DSG operates the retail chains Sam’s Warehouse and Crazy Clark’s, which have 143 stores across Australia.

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

Thirty-nine stores have been closed since last week.

The latest closures — 27 Crazy Clark’s and two Sam’s Warehouses — will result in the loss of 300 jobs.

KordaMentha is looking for buyers for the profitable stores and trying to find the money to cover about $10 million in staff entitlements.

About 100 stores are believed to be profitable, although a KordaMentha spokesman said the situation was still being assessed and a closing-down sale was being held until buyers could be found for some stores.

He said they had received about 50 inquiries from possible buyers, although no one had yet offered to buy the entire network.

“Most expressions of interest are for a single store or a group of stores — we don’t have anyone yet who wants to buy lock, stock and barrel, but we have a week to go (until expressions of interest close),” he said.

Half of the stores to close — 14 — are in Queensland, seven in NSW, five in Victoria and three in Western Australia and South Australia. Most will close on July 20.

The operation of all other stores in the Sam’s Warehouse and Crazy Clark’s chains, including the North Albury store, is in the hands of the receivers.

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

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

Rahul Goyal, of KordaMentha Restructuring, said last week it appeared the pressure on DSG had been caused by a decline in the retail sector, especially for discretionary items found in Sam’s Warehouse and Crazy Clark’s.

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