Breaking: Dick Smith stores to close; 3000 jobs gone
All Dick Smith and Move stores across Australia and New Zealand, excluding airport locations, will close over the next eight weeks, after receivers failed to find a buyer for the failed business.
Receivers Ferrier Hodgson say while they received a ‘significant’ number of expressions of interest from local and overseas parties, the sales process did not result in any acceptable offers for the group as a whole, or for Australia or New Zealand as standalone businesses.
“The offers received were either significantly below liquidation values or highly conditional, or both,” receiver James Stewart says.
The closures will affect around 430 staff in New Zealand and 2460 staff in Australia, with 301 stores in Australia and 62 in New Zealand closing.
The closure is expected to take eight weeks.
Employees across Australia and New Zealand were told of the closure today.
The receivers say all Australian employee entitlements will rank as priority unsecured claims ahead of the secured creditors and are expected to be paid in full.
Entitlements of New Zealand employees who are made redundant are preferential claims and also rank ahead of secured creditors and are expected to be paid up in full up to a maximum statutory limit of NZ$22,160.
Dick Smith was placed into voluntary administration and receivership in early January, with the early reports from receivers Ferrier Hodgson noting that creditors were owed nearly AU$400 million, including $250 million to unsecured creditors.
In January receivers closed 27 David Jones Electronics Powered by Dick Smith concession stores in Australia, affecting the jobs of 181 predominantly part-time and casual workers.
Earlier this year Stewart noted that the New Zealand business was profitable and said it was expected to be attractive to potential buyers.