Exclusive by Patrick Avenell
ADELAIDE, SA: Whenever a large business enters receivership, interested parties often seek out information through the media, with individuals contacting news outlets to offer opinions and spread innuendo.
Two of the most common rumours heard at Current.com.au, since Truscotts entered receivership, were that stock loss was epidemic and that the Christopher and Janine Starrs, the two owners, did not have enough of a hands-on approach, placing too much faith in store managers. Dr Christopher Starrs responded to these claims.
On the issue of stock loss, Dr Starrs said the receivers, Ernst & Young, were currently conducting a stock take, and that the results would need to be analysed before any culture of misappropriation could be confirmed.
“The receiver did a stock take, a very quick stock take, the day after they occupied our business,” he said. “If that stock take showed up discrepancies, that may be because it was not done properly or it might be there was stock missing, which of those two is the case, I’m afraid I don’t know.”
Starrs reported that he has never investigated any of his store managers for inappropriate or criminal behaviour. He did, however, acknowledge that Truscotts had developed a reputation within the industry.
“I have heard the rumours:, I have formed my own opinion that the rumours were simply rumours,” he said.
As for whether the Starrs played an active enough role in the day-to-day running of the business, Christopher Starrs said that whilst he occupied more of a silent partner role in the business, Janine Starrs was very active.
“I didn’t have any hands on role in the business at all, except to do the voiceovers on the TV and radio.
“Virtually every day, [Janine] went into one or more of the stores, wearing the uniform and there were many occasions on which she served customers…She was the managing director, she was in there doing a million jobs, [she’s a] very busy and very talented person.”