Former franchisees of Kenny’s Cardiology have headed to the Federal Court, claiming that they were the victims of misleading and deceptive conduct by Kenny’s former chief executive and sales director.
The companies JSA Maule, Aussie Kiwi and individuals Sharon Maule, Maree Ballestrino and John Ballestrino claim Kenny’s chief executive Anthony Underwood and Kenny’s director of sales Randal Wilson were involved in misleading and deceptive conduct, which they allege Kenny’s carried out.
Further details of the former franchisee’s claims are unavailable at this stage, as SmartCompany contacted the franchisee’s solicitor but no response was available before publication.
The case was before Justice Bromberg in the Federal Court as former franchisees were unable to locate Wilson and so applied to serve the statement of claim to Wilson’s solicitor instead, an application approved by the court.
The Kenny’s Cardiology website describes the franchise as “no ordinary retailer”, instead it is “Australia’s premier card and gift retailer”.
Kenny’s last hit the headlines when franchise brand manager Allied Brands, which had the franchise rights to Kenny’s Cardiology along with Cookie Man, Baskin & Robbins and Villa & Hut, was placed into voluntary administration in 2010.
The current owner of the Kenny’s Cardiology franchise is the Giftology Group, which has no relationship to the former chief executive and sales director.
A spokesperson for Deborah Souris, owner of the Giftology Group, told SmartCompany our inquiry was the first the Giftology Group had heard of the case.
“The Giftology group did not buy any of the trading entities as Allied Brands was a real can of worms, so we bought the franchise as a franchisor and we have new legal entities that own the Kenny’s Cardiology business,” the spokesperson says.
“We have managed to stabilise the Kenny’s Cardiology brand and tidy it up and move it forward, as well as launching new brands in the card and gift industry called Giftology House with the launch of one new store and three more stores to come.”