Ishka has filed for voluntary administration after 50 years of operations.
ISHKA has filed for voluntary administration. The retailer has been in operation for 50 years and has 60 stores across Australia.
Owner of ISHKA, Toby Darvall, said the closure was ‘out of the blue’ and was a result of two ‘catastrophic’ factors. In May 2019, Darvall said there was a ’50-50′ chance that the stores would close. “It could close down, it could not,” he said in 2019.
The current tough retail climate combined with $3 million worth of delay in Christmas stock were the catalysts of the downfall.
“It has been a devastating 24 hours for us. We came into December actually trading really strongly and looking really good so we were quite excited about Christmas,” Darvall said. “We had a good digital week in November and Black Friday and Cyber Monday went crazy.”
“But unfortunately in late November, quarantine seized 32 components of Christmas stock. Normally that would be released quite quickly … but a week later it hadn’t arrived, and then a week after that we were starting to get concerned, and then another week later in mid-December I thought, ‘my God, we’re not going to get our Christmas stock.”
At this current stage, the 460 employees’ fates lie in the balance. “We’ve been flat out working on solutions to protect staff, suppliers, landlords and creditors,” Darvall said. “We’ve done everything and explored every option we could to save the business and we are working very closely with our bank. This is a heartbreaking decision to make.”
“We have taken the unusual step for a privately-run family company to speak out during this difficult time.”
Rachel Burdett and Barry Wight have been appointed as administrators of Michael Sklovsky Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed) – they will convene with creditors in early March.
“We confirm our appointment as administrators of the ISHKA business,” explained Burdett. “We will hold an initial creditors meeting in very early March. We have commenced an urgent assessment of the financial position of the business, including discussions with the director and management team, assessing each store, liaising with creditors and looking at how the business operates. From there we can determine the next steps.”
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