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Pumpkin Patch stores to close by mid-February

Friday 20th January 2017

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The receivers of Pumpkin Patch will have all stores closed by mid-February after they couldn't entice a buyer for the failed children's wear chain, which traded through the traditionally busy holiday period. 

Sixty-eight stores employing 560 people will close by Jan. 31, and the remaining 56 stores across New Zealand and Australia will shut as and when stock is sold, through the middle of next month, receiver Neale Jackson of KordaMentha said in a statement. Pumpkin Patch staff at head office will lose their jobs over the coming weeks. 

"We have successfully traded stores through the traditional holiday period and stock levels are now considerably reduced," Jackson said. "The balance of stock will be consolidated in the remaining stores as the receivership enters its final phase."

The company was tipped into receivership by its lenders in October and appointed voluntary administrators after failing to reinvent itself in the face of shrinking sales and too much debt. The receivers wanted to sell the business as a going concern, but couldn't shake out any buyers. 

Pumpkin Patch owed its lender ANZ Bank New Zealand $59.5 million as of the date of receivership, the report says, up from $46 million at the year ended July 2016, when it posted an annual loss of $15.5 million.

KordaMentha's Jackson said all staff were "aware that the business is closing down and that stores will gradually close as stock is sold," and will receive holiday pay, outstanding wages and any other entitlements. 

"This has been a very difficult time for all Pumpkin Patch staff. We acknowledge them for continuing to work diligently to see the closure process through," he said. 

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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