Riot Art & Craft online business sold to ‘related entity’ prior to liquidation

Westfield Shopping Center in Doncaster, Victoria. Source: AAP.

The liquidator of art supplies retailer Riot Art & Craft confirmed that the company’s e-commerce arm was sold to a “related entity” before the business collapsed.

Riot arts and crafts closed its 56 stores last week, after going into liquidation and informing staff members by SMS that they were no longer employed.

A post on Riot Art & Craft’s website claims the e-commerce side of the business continues to operate “under new management,” however, former company employees questioned independence new owners.

Riot Art & Craft online business is now operated by a company called Riot Stores Pty Ltd.

According to the Australian Business Register, Riot Store Pty Ltd has been active since January 2020. The terms and conditions page on the Riot Art & Craft website also refers to another entity, a trust, which has been active since April 2020.

Liquidator Nicholas Giasoumi of insolvency firm Dye & Co was appointed to handle the liquidation of SLKALT Pty Ltd, the company that operated the Riot Art & Craft business, on October 19.

Wednesday he confirmed SmartCompany the company entered into a “sales contract in April with a related entity to purchase the e-commerce business operated by the company”.

This related entity has “joint directors” with SLKALT Pty Ltd, confirmed Giasoumi, although he declined to disclose who these directors are.

The company’s intellectual property assets are believed to be part of the sale, including the Riot Art & Craft name, but Giasoumi has confirmed that no physical stores were sold.

Details of the sale will now be considered by the liquidator, although he says at this point that it appears that an independent assessment was carried out prior to the sale and that it “appears to have been done above the board” .

“There is no indication that creditors have been disadvantaged,” Giassoumi said, although a proper investigation is still being carried out.

SmartCompany contacted Michael Kurc, director of SLKALT Pty Ltd, for further comment, but referred all questions to Giasoumi.

Over the past week, former Riot Art & Craft employees have shared their shock upon learning of store closings via text message, along with repeated assurances that more stock will be filling nearly empty shelves.

“They continued to reassure us, even the week before the manager emailed us, saying the stock was on their way,” former employee Sophie Newcome told nine.com.au.

“What angers me the most is that in the last few weeks we started working as usual, hoping to get paid, but we weren’t.

“This is after the last fifteen weeks spent in what was almost an empty store telling customers that stock was arriving this week.”

This article was updated at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday October 29 to include additional information about Riot Stores Pty Ltd.


Source link

Riot Art & Craft stores close, staff dismissed by text message

The owners of the Riot Art & Craft store chain closed all of its 56 stores after the business went into liquidation last week.

Angry staff members said they had not been informed of the store closings and were told by text that they lost their jobs last Monday evening.

“All stores are closed from today. You don’t have to be at work tomorrow,” Riot Art & Craft director Michael Kurc wrote in the text message to staff.

The text message sent to staff informing them that they had lost their jobs and that all stores were to close. (Provided)

“The liquidator will contact you regarding your rights. A huge thank you to everyone for all your years of service.”

Nine.com.au understands that the number of employees made redundant as a result of store closures includes 140 permanent employees and around 160 casual employees.

Former employees said the closures came after weeks of working nearly empty stores, while head office led them to believe replacement stock was on its way.

Sophie Newcome, who had worked at the Whitford store in Washington for more than two years, said the text was a shock.

“They continued to reassure us, even the week before the manager emailed us, saying the stock was on its way,” she said.

“What angers me the most is that in the last few weeks we have started working as usual, hoping to be paid, but we weren’t.

“This is after the last fifteen weeks spent in what was almost an empty store telling customers that stock was arriving this week.”

In Sydney, Burwood store manager Andrew Wilkinson – who worked for the company for five years – said he had also heard nothing about potential store closings.

However, the lack of stock in the store worried him.

“Basically I started telling my casuals to try and get a job seeker or apply for other jobs because I just weren’t getting any response,” he said.

The company behind Riot Art & Craft – SLKALT Pty Ltd – had been in operation for 46 years before it went into liquidation last Monday.

Nine.com.au understands that the online portion of Riot Art & Craft’s business has been sold and will continue to be marketed under the same name.

When approached for comment, Mr Kurc said he was now in the hands of the liquidator.

“Honestly after 46 years in the business the closing of the doors has been very traumatic and beyond that it’s out of my hands, it’s with the liquidator,” he said.

Insolvency firm Dye & Co has been appointed as liquidator, and director Nicholas Giasoumi told nine.com.au that the 140 permanent staff owed around $ 3.5 million in rights.

There were around 100 other unsecured creditors, mostly homeowners, who owed around $ 8.5 million, he added.

Former staff would be eligible for financial assistance under the government’s Equitable Rights Guarantee Act, Giassoumi said.

“We have sent a notification to the staff regarding a complaint to the government under the Equitable Rights Guarantee Act in relation to their wages and other rights,” Giasoumi said.

Contact reporter Emily McPherson at emcpherson.com.au.


Source link

Riot Art & Craft Stores Close Following Appointment Of Liquidators | Bendigo Advertiser

news, local news, bendigo, centralvic, market, mental health, riotartcraft, jobs, liquidation

Retail chain Riot Art & Craft closed its Bendigo store after the liquidation of parent company SLKALT last week, ending 46 years in business. The art supply store is one of 56 stores in Australia to close. Teinture & Co have been appointed liquidators. Director Nicholas Giasoumi said 140 permanent employees owed around $ 3.5 million in wages and fees, while unsecured creditors, mostly homeowners, owed around $ 8.5 million. READ MORE: It is understood that the online branch of Riot Art & Crafts will continue to trade. The shutdown comes as retailers continue to fight the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. In August, the fate of several Bendigo clothing stores was thrown into limbo after Mosaic Fashion announced the closure of 500 stores across the country. Mosaic Fashion owns brands such as Millers, Rockmans, Noni B, Rivers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and W. Lane. A company spokesperson said it was too early to know whether Bendigo stores would be among those to be closed. The city has a Rivers, Millers and Crossroads in the CBD, a Noni B, Millers and Rockmans in Lansell Square and a Katies and Autograph in Bendigo Marketplace. More recently, Bendigo Marketplace’s Sanity store closed and the city’s last outlet is trading at Lansell Square.

/images/transform/v1/crop/frm/nicolas.nakos/dfb677f2-f7f2-4ff9-86a9-82829ebacba8.jpg/r4_5_1188_674_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg


Source link