Consumers angry after Mothercare Australia refuses to honour gift cards

Monday 11 March 2013 @ 11.21 a.m. | Trade & Commerce

Mothercare consumers are furious following the baby clothing retailer’s decision to stop honouring gift cards or deposits after going into voluntary liquidation six weeks ago has reported.

The customers, many of whom are expectant mothers, have forfeited hundreds of dollars in gift cards and deposits. Tara Bartlett, an expectant mother, was told by the administrators, BRI Ferrier, the baby furniture she had pre-ordered and paid a $75 deposit on at a Mothercare store in Brisbane would not be delivered. Ms Bartlett was also informed she could not redeem her $100 gift voucher. ''The way it has been handled has been atrocious,'' Ms Bartlett said

According to Mothercare Australia, a failed acquisition deal was the deciding factor in the decision to enter administration. The Myer Family Company (MFO), a 75-year-old trust company that invests the department store family’s fortune, had terminated an agreement made in late 2012 to purchase the retailer for around $6 million. Myer withdrew because some of the purchase conditions were not satisfied or waived. Consequently, Mothercare selected Brian Silvia and Antony Resnick of BRI Ferrier as administrators.

The company had been operating on $500,000 of working capital granted by MFO during the agreement negotiations. A spokesperson for the administrator stated the next creditors meeting would be decided before May 3, when creditors would ''decide the future of the company''.

Under a restructuring plan, Mothercare’s 43 Australian stores have been reduced to 28 stores in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. Skansen, Baby on a Budget and DoDo Holdings businesses are also operated by Mothercare Australia, whose three Australian brands are Kids Central stores, Early Learning Centre toys, and Mothercare stores.

Read the full story here.

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