Economy

Office technology retailer Express Office Systems collapses with $1.5 million in debt

Yolanda Redrup /

A 19-year-old office technology retailer based in Melbourne has collapsed with $1.5 million in debt.

Malcolm Howell and Renée Di Carlo from Jirsch Sutherland were appointed as administrators to Express Office Systems on October 2, 2013.

Di Carlo told SmartCompany there is currently no clear indication as to what caused the company to collapse.

Its major creditors are NAB and Dicker Data (a hardware distributing business).

Express Office Systems primarily provides businesses with imaging, printing and IT infrastructure products and it has a multi-million dollar turnover.

Its customer base has included major hospitals and healthcare providers across Victoria, local councils and small and medium-sized businesses.

Currently the business is continuing to trade and there have been no redundancies.

“At the moment we understand the director will be making a deed of company arrangement proposal which will be presented at the first creditors meeting at October 14,” Di Carlo says.

A deed of company arrangement is aimed at maximising the chances of the business continuing to operate, or to provide a better return for creditors than an immediate winding up of the company.

While the administrators are yet to determine the reason for the collapse, IBISWorld says mounting competition and changes to the retail landscape have resulted in a tough trading environment for electronics retailers.

“Despite the continued advances in product design and technology, industry revenue has suffered due to strong price-based competition between operators, progressive declines in the average selling price of some electronic categories and volatility across the retail economy…” IBISWorld says.

The retail industry, particularly those in electronics, has suffered intense margin erosion.

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