Retail Adventures in dire straits as suppliers receive ominous email

Retail Adventures, the company behind the Crazy Clark’s, Go-Lo, Sam’s Warehouse and Chickenfeed brands, is reportedly struggling and has told suppliers to stop deliveries.

The revelation comes during a troublesome year for the company. In March, Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron took over running the company, after plucking it out of receivership three years ago. Several staff have already been let go.

The company was contacted this morning, but no reply was available before publication.

The Australian has reported Retail Adventures sent out an email to its suppliers saying the company is “working through our payments”, and suggesting that all shipments be halted until they’ve been paid for goods already delivered.

One unnamed supplier has claimed the company owes it more than $100,000.

“I had expected they would try to trade through Christmas, but if they are knocking back stock they will need for that period then that looks like it’s not going to happen,” the supplier reportedly told the publication.

The company turns over $600 million a year, but has had a rough few months. Most recently, it has been reported five Chickenfeed stores in Tasmania have been closed, while earlier this year it also let dozens of staff go in a restructure.

Jan Cameron took over the business earlier this year after it had passed through four chief executives in as many years. Cameron now remains the sole director after ousting other appointments.

The company has experienced losses recently, although it claims these are due to one-off charges. Cameron has also reportedly used some of her own funds to keep the company afloat.

The Mercury in Tasmania has reported the company lost $35 million last year.

Cameron rescued the company in 2009, paying $70 million to bring it out of administration. At the time, Harris Scarfe chief executive Robert Atkins emerged as a minority shareholder.

The troubles come during a shocking year for retail, with companies including Billabong, WOW Sight and Sound, Darrell Lea, Dick Smith and GAME all either announcing massive store closures or collapsing altogether.


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