Will suppliers and consumers get their money from Truscotts?

Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

ADELAIDE, SA: Two of the parties most affected by a retailer’s collapse are the suppliers who provided stock on credit and the consumers who purchased stock on credit. In both cases, these individuals and companies are wondering if they’ll get their goods, or their money back. Truscotts owner Dr Christopher Starrs answered these questions.

On the consumer side, Starrs hoped for a resolution that was satisfactory. Unfortunately, he admitted that this was no longer within management’s control.

“When we took over the business, we honoured every single outstanding order and we would expect that to continue to happen, however, we no longer have control of the company and so I may wish that to happen but I can’t make it happen.”

When asked who was in control, Starrs identified receivers Ernst & Young.

For suppliers awaiting news on whether they would be paid for stock purchased on credit, Starrs said the best option for them would be to collect the goods back and reassign them to different stores.

“Most of the suppliers have retention of title, which means that the goods remain their property until they’re paid for and so every single one of them is capable of taking the goods back. The strange thing is that many of them are reluctant to do that.”

Current.com.au proposed reasons for this reluctance, including logistical problems, stock becoming obsolete and the inability to find stores to take the stock.

“I disagree with you about that,” Starrs responded. “A person that has supplied goods and has not been paid for them, invariably they have warehouses in Adelaide, they have other stores in Adelaide, where they could move their goods from us.

“For example, next door to us is Harvey Norman, because Harvey Norman sells the same kind of things, there are no logistical difficulties, and the movement of the stock could be accomplished in a week at most, and stock doesn’t become obsolete in a week.”

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