Finance

PramWarehouse collapses into administration: “Our ‘boss’ couldn’t face us”

Eloise Keating /

A family-owned retailer of baby products that has been operating for more than 25 years has collapsed into voluntary administration.

Trajan Kukulovski and Chris Baskerville of Jirsch Sutherland were appointed administrators of Baby Save, operator of PramWarehouse, on February 4.

The first meeting of creditors is scheduled to take place in Brisbane on February 16.

PramWarehouse has four bricks-and-mortar stores as well as an online shop. Three stores are located in Queensland – in Sumner Park, Stafford and Toowoomba – and one store is located in the regional Victorian city of Ballarat.

The first PramWarehouse store in the Brisbane suburb of Sumner Park has been operating for more than 25 years. The second PramWarehouse store opened in Loganholme in 2005 and was followed by a store in Ipswich.

The Stafford store, which later became the retailer’s main distribution centre, opened in 2008 and was followed by a Gold Coast store in 2009. The company ventured interstate to Ballarat in 2011.

The stores sell a vast range of baby products, from prams and pram accessories to toys, furniture, baby carriers, maternity products and manchester.

It is not clear if the business is still operating. While the website is still online, phone calls from SmartCompany to PramWarehouse were not answered. The company’s Facebook page has not been updated since September 2014.

A post on September 8 said PramWarehouse had a “new online team” and the company’s online operations “will be running from Queensland as of today”.

Disgruntled customers have left more than 80 comments on the post, detailing how they have not received goods they ordered from the business. Some have said only the Stafford store is still trading.

Other comments appear to be from former employees who say they have lost their jobs and left without their superannuation entitlements.

 “We showed up for work on Wednesday [February 4] and were met by administrators that told [us] we no longer had a job,” said one commenter.

“Our boss never paid our super and we lost out on our last wages. We never knew it was coming and now us girls are all left unemployed and our ‘boss’ couldn’t even face us himself to tell us.”

PramWarehouse is the latest Australian retailer to fall over, following the collapse of homewares retailer Homeart last month and menswear chain Man to Man in late December.

However, 62 Man to Man stores appear to have been saved, with administrators Ferrier Hodgson securing a new owner for the retail chain earlier this month.

SmartCompany contacted Jirsch Sutherland but did not receive a response prior to publication. 

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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