Pumpkin Patch to close, sack 1600, as everything on sale

PUMPKIN Patch staff will lose their jobs and have been left "feeling really gutted" by the demise of the 26-year-old retailer, say union delegates.

The Australian stores are now reducing all products by at least 30% and sale items by 50% ahead of it shuddering its stores.

The company will close its doors after it was unable to find a buyer for the business.

"We fought really hard for this company and most of us have been here for around 15 years. We've put in the hours and done a lot for the company so to end it this way is pretty tough," Dempsey said.

"They're not going to pay us redundancy even though we're entitled to it in our contracts which is a pretty bitter pill for a lot of us here."

Pumpkin Patch is massively discounting its products as the company prepares to shut down.
Pumpkin Patch is massively discounting its products as the company prepares to shut down.

The company said earlier this month that it was closing seven stores in New Zealand and 27 in Australia. The remaining 128 Pumpkin Patch stores would stay open until at least the end of the year, before being wound down.

The company's roughly 1600 staff will all be let go, with redundancies starting last week.
 

Pumpkin Patch has stores in:

Mackay

Rockhampton

Kawana Waters

Tooowoomba

Robina

Coffs Harbour

Tamworth
 

Pumpkin Patch's head office is being immediately restructured and 63 people are losing their jobs this week. Receiver Brendon Gibson said staff would be paid wages and holiday pay, but head office staff would not receive redundancy packages.

"All of the staff in retail stores will be paid their wages and entitlements up to the statutory cap, and those in head office," Gibson said.

"Unfortunately there's no assets available to meet their redundancy entitlements so there won't be [redundancy packages] for head office."

Gift vouchers will be honoured only while stock remains available.

Pumpkin Patch receivers said 63 staff members would be losing their jobs this week after no buyer was found.

Retailer Pumpkin Patch will close after no buyer was found for the company.

All remaining Pumpkin Patch stores will stay open until at least the end of the year, but some may survive until February.

However, Pumpkin Patch's head office is being immediately restructured and 63 people are losing their jobs this week. Gift vouchers will be honoured only while stock remains available

Gibson said that without a serious expression of interest from a buyer, there was no choice but to sell all stock and wind down the business.

"Our focus since Pumpkin Patch entered receivership in October was to sell the business as a going concern," Gibson said.

"Unfortunately, while the brand is attractive the business itself ultimately grew no interest at the conclusion of the sale process.

The company had received approaches from a number of agencies to assist the redundant staff to find alternative employment and ensure they were aware of the support that was available, Gibson said.

Gibson said he had received interest for the Pumpkin Patch brand and would now run a process to get the most value from that asset.

The company was tipped into receivership by its lenders last month and appointed voluntary administrators after failing to reinvent itself in the face of shrinking sales and too much debt.

Shortly before this, the retailer said there was virtually no value left in its equity after talks with its lender ANZ Bank New Zealand fell through.



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