Franchise chain Hire a Box in administration and up for sale
The company was formally placed in administration on June 30 and is now in the hands of David Shannon and Bruce Gleeson from Sydney insolvency firm Jones Partners.
The business, which was founded by Barry Harris in 1999, rents out and sells cardboard boxes, tape dispensers, bubblewrap to people who are moving home.
Harris started franchising the business in November 2007, with a buy-in cost of about $65,000, and quickly built up a network of 24 franchisees across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.
It has been reported by Franchising.net that there are now 15 active franchisees and a number of inactive franchisees.
Jones Partners has advised customers who currently hold boxes from the company to hang on to them while negotiations to sell the business continue.
Most of the customers who ordered and paid for boxes in July, after the company entered administration, will become creditors of the firm and will need to wait until a deal is done before they know whether they will receive a refund.
Shannon and Gleeson were not available for comment prior to publication.
In August 2009, Harris announced he was taking the franchise to the US under the brand "Rent a Box". The first franchises were located in New York and Washington DC, but Harris boldly announced he hoped to have 300-350 franchisees within three years.
Harris hoped to open between 300 and 350 franchises in the US within the next three years.
"The roll-out in the US should be as rapid as that experienced in Australia - if not quicker - because the concept of renting products is accepted far more rapidly over there than here," he said at the time.