Australian music retailer Allans Billy Hyde has entered voluntary administration after a string of recent store closures, with administrators Ferrier Hodgson blaming the closure on overall poor retail conditions.
Both Allans Billy Hyde Pty Ltd and Gallin’s Musician Pro Shop Pty Ltd have entered administration, and the trading entities for Australian Music Group, which owns Allans Billy Hyde, have also been placed into administration. Australian Music Group is reportedly subject to a wind-up application by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Speaking to SmartCompany, administrator John Lindholm said Ferrier Hodgson is currently in the process of seeking expressions of interest for Allans Billy Hyde, looking for buyers to acquire its business and assets.
“Over the next month we’ll be looking to get a sale, and hopefully preserve the business and online business. Allans Billy Hyde is a brand that’s been around for 100 years, so we think there’s some value in it,” he says.
Ferrier Hodgson was appointed administrator on Wednesday, and Lindholm confirmed there were two stores trading at the time they were appointed. The company’s Alexandria (NSW) and Southport (QLD) stores had already shut their doors, with suppliers reportedly returning to the stores to reclaim stock after having not been paid invoices.
Currently, only the Bourke St Allans Billy Hyde store and the Prahran Gallin’s Musician Pro store in Melbourne are trading. The two stores are expected to continue trading throughout the administration process.
Allans Billy Hyde was born from a merger of Allans Music and Billy Hyde Music in 2010, which formed one of the largest music retailers in Australia at the time, with over 30 stores and more than 500 staff.
The music retailer has somewhat of a checkered history, having been placed into receivership in 2012 with $3 million owed in entitlements to staff at the time. The company was pulled back from the brink of collapse later that year after it was purchased by Con Gallin, who runs the Gallin’s music chain.
However, the appointment of administrators this weeks seems to suggest there have been further issues in the business, with stores progressively shutting down over the past few months, and allegations that former employees are owed thousands of dollars.
MusicFeeds reports numerous employees from one of the chain’s Sydney stores claim the company owes them amounts up to $22,000. Despite reportedly agreeing to pay back the staff last year, the company has allegedly still not paid them.
Lindholm says he is not aware of any significant entitlements owed to staff, but says any claims will be worked through as the sale process continues.
According to the administrators, their appointment to Allans Billy Hyde was simply due to the company being a victim of the “tough retail market”, which has seen other notable Australian retailers fall on tough times this year.
“It’s fairly similar to a lot of retail at the moment. There was definitely a downturn in sales across all the stores, and rents were getting out of whack compared to revenue,” Lindholm says.
“I understand they were trying to downsize and make things right, but they couldn’t downsize quite quickly enough.”
SmartCompany has attempted to contact Allans Billy Hyde via email and phone, but received a bounceback for the company’s email address, and found all the phone lines disconnected. Similar attempts to contact the stores via Facebook were also unsuccessful.
The phone lines for Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop were also disconnected.