The full extent of the Designer Homeware collapse is coming into stark relief as insider documents emerge detailing just how much creditors are owed by the collapsed Sydney appliance retailer.

The company, which operated two stores in the inner-city suburbs of Camperdown and Chatswood, went into liquidation last month after proprietor Athan Papoulias admitted he “gave up the fight” to keep his stores afloat. When Papoulias shut up shop for the Christmas break on 21 December 2013, talks began with “a couple of major suppliers” he says, in order to obtain a “cash injection to keep the business afloat.

However, these suppliers “weren’t prepared to take the risk” according to Papoulias, and the retailer rang in a grim New Year, appointing liquidators on 2 January 2014.

Now that the dust has settled, the full scale of Designer Homeware’s debts have emerged, showing almost three quarters of a million dollars owed to unsecured creditors — and that’s before individual customers call in what’s owed to them.

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The list of industry creditors reads like a who’s-who of appliance brands, with ASKO, Bosch, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, ILVE, Liebherr, Miele, Franke, Samford IXL, Schweigen, Shriro, Vintec, V-Zug and Woodland Home Products owed more than $310,000 between them. With the total bill owed to unsecured creditors topping out at over $713,900, these appliance brands have been hit hard by the liquidation.

The biggest losers in the liquidation include Electrolux Home Products (owed more than $47,000), ILVE (owed more than $54,000) and V-Zug (owed almost $67,000). Fisher & Paykel, Miele, Franke Australia and Shriro Australia are all owed more than $15,000 while ASKO appliances is owed more than $27,000. A number of retailers also make the list, with Harvey Norman and Whitfords of Five Dock both owed more than $1,000 each.

In a letter to creditors at the start of January, liquidator Randall Joubert of Joubert Insolvency advised that it was “unlikely that the company will incur any liabilities in the future [and] no credit should be extended to the company”. In the summary of the company’s assests, made on 2 January 2014, stock detailed in inventory was valued at just $100,000 while “plant and machinery” was valued at $20,000.

With the shortfall between known assets and debts almost reaching the $600,000, it is becoming clear that many creditors will go unpaid.

While these listed creditors have had their losses tallied, there are a further 117 creditors (including customers and staff) with debts that are yet to be confirmed and that have not been included in the $700,000-plus figure.

Among those unsecured creditors, a number of former Designer Homeware customers have contacted Appliance Retailer to detail their financial losses and to discuss their experiences with the retailer. With each customer owed in the order of thousands of dollars, they have met with difficulties trying to claim their stock (paid for in full in each case) or recoup their losses.

While some creditors complained about a lack of communication from the liquidators, Randall Joubert told Appliance Retailer that his company had been “responding to every creditor’s telephone call, fax enquiry and email enquiry” and was seeking legal advice “with respect to stock that’s on display and stock that’s on the premises”. He added that suppliers had been given the opportunity to come into Designer Homeware’s stores to perform a stock take.

For his part, Designer Homeware director Athan Papoulias seemed untroubled by his company’s debts after ‘giving up the fight’.

“I owe suppliers money,” he said, “but it’s a piss in the ocean in the big picture.”