By Patrick Avenell
Retravision Southern has followed through on its commitment to pay out employees' entitlements in the event of administration, as staff at the company’s Melbourne head office move to “casual” positions to await assessment by administrator KordaMentha. It also emerged today that there are around 80 suppliers owed money.
In an interview with Current.com.au, a spokesperson for KordaMentha said that Retravision Southern processed this payment prior to the appointment.
“The employees have all had their entitlements paid out, prior to my appointment,” said the KordaMentha spokesperson. “This happened on Friday, I believe.”
This statement was supported by a Retravision Southern head office employee, who contacted Current.com.au this morning to corroborate that view.
“They have paid us our entitlements, which is a big relief,” this insider said. “Interesting to see what the administrators do next with us now. For now, everything is business as usual until they give us new contracts and assess the company structure."
Retravision chairman and Swan Hill proprietor Ian Ray also contacted us this morning, though he was unable to speak about the administration process. Ray is one of 55 Retravision Southern members - not franchisees - who are now in limbo due this administration process.
A spokesperson for KordaMentha said it was too early to say what the future held for the group buying organisation.
“It could potentially be sold,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a buying co-op structure, so the stores are continuing to operate.
“It’s really just that middleman level that I’ve been appointed over, and it really depends on whether that’s a viable structure going forward.
“Obviously with the retail industry experiencing a downturn in spending, that’s impacting the margins and the level of sales being made by retailers.”
KordaMentha said there were “around 80 suppliers” among the list of creditors. Current.com.au understands that some of these creditors are owed at least $200,000.
“The message to suppliers has got to be that the stores themselves are continuing to operate and it’s important that the stores are supported through this process, it that’s possible.
“That’s really the main message that I’d like to get out there to the suppliers.”
For consumers, this administration process should have very little impact on their shopping experience.
“Retravision don’t really have many gift cards and existing gift cards are going to be honoured,” said KordaMentha.
“Any lay-bys need to be dealt with on a store-by-store basis and any order needs to be dealt with on a store-by-store basis. In terms of warranties, and we need to an assessment of the warranties, but I’d expect there to still be the manufacturers’ warranties in place.”