Stuff.co.nz reports that troubled stationery retailer Kikki K has closed its seven shops in New Zealand.
The Australian global chain was put into receivership in March after weak sales in December and January.
Stuff relates that Australian receiver Barry Wight, from Cor Cordis, said at the time that the shops would remain open while the company’s financial position was assessed. But a month later the Kikki K was put into liquidation.
According to Stuff, a spokesman for BDO, Kikki K’s receivers in New Zealand, confirmed that the company had closed its stores in New Zealand and that all staff positions had been terminated.
“We understand a sale process is currently under way by the receivers of the Australian operations,” the report quotes the spokesman as saying. “We also understand that the prospective purchaser has expressed an interest in the New Zealand market and we have provided contact details for all New Zealand landlords, however we have not been provided with any further information regarding their intentions.”
Mr. Wight said in March that Kikki K had joined a “long list of financially distressed retailers” to have fallen victim to “softening consumer spending, high leasing costs, compounded by a disappointing December and January trading period”.
However, Australia-based Kikki K had a strong brand and a global following with sales of nearly AUD70 million (NZD72 million) a year, he said, Stuff relays.
Kikki K has 64 shops in Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore, according to its website.
When the receivership was announced, chief executive Paul Lacy said an “unprecedented line-up of external factors” such as the coronavirus, had contributed to the business’s collapse.
“We’ve had the triple-whammy of soft consumer demand, the business impact of bush fires and more recently the unprecedented and profound impact of coronavirus which is hitting so many businesses and countries so hard,” the report quoted Mr. Lacy as saying.
Kikki K executives had been close to a rescue deal with a large global investor prior to the collapse, but “ran out of time”, a spokesman said in March, recalls Stuff.
New Zealand customers could still buy Kikki K products online from its local website, the report notes.
Kikki K was founded by Australian-based Swedish entrepreneur Kristina Karlsson in 2001.