22 Nov 2016

Pumpkin Patch fails to find buyer, 63 jobs to go this week

4:02 pm on 22 November 2016

The troubled children clothing chain Pumpkin Patch has lost its fight for survival.

Some of the 160 Pumpkin Patch stores across New Zealand and Australia are likely to close within weeks, receivers say.

Pumpkin Patch failed in October, with debts estimated as much as $80 million. Photo: Flickr / Jason Hutchens

The receivers for the business, KordaMentha, said they could not find a buyer for some or all of the business, and they would now sell all stock and wind down the business.

KordaMentha spokesperson Brendon Gibson said they had tried to keep the business alive as a going concern, but there was now no alternative to closing down.

"This decision has not been made lightly and we acknowledge it will come as a blow to staff."

Mr Gibson said shops would remain open as long as they had stock, although there would be an immediate loss of 63 jobs in the head office.

"It is too early to say when individual stores will close. Our current intention is for all stores to remain trading until the end of the year with some continuing on into January as stock diminishes."

Pumpkin Patch failed in October, with debts estimated as much as $80 million after its bank refused to keep it going.

It has already shut 34 of its 160 shops in Australia and New Zealand with the loss of about 200 jobs, but still has more than 100 other stores and 1000 staff.

Mr Gibson said there was some interest in buying the Pumpkin Patch brand and he would look to get the most value out of it.

The First Union said the mood among office staff after being told of the winding up and redundancies was "pretty lousy".

Union organiser Lisa Meto Fox said the union would be pushing hard to ensure people who were put out of work could secure their entitlements.

"In the past workers have agreed to forgo wage increases to help the company, and in return they could be short-changed on their entitlements."

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