580 JOBS LOST TO WOW AUDIO VISUAL CLOSURES

580 JOBS LOST TO WOW AUDIO VISUAL CLOSURES

AN AILING Westend audio visual products retail group will retrench 580 staff just one week after entering administration.

The receivers and managers of WOW Audio Visual Superstores have confirmed that all 15 stores, two-thirds of which are in Queensland, will hold closing-down sales and staff will be laid off.

Ferrier Hodgson (FH) will collaborate with realisation specialists Hilco to liquidate the stock over the next three weeks including audio systems, computers, office equipment, telephones, cameras, DVDs, games and CDs.

Redundant staff will continue being paid wages, but other employee entitlements protected under the Federal Government’s General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS) will not be provided for at least three months.

GEERS will be remunerated once realisation of group business assets and ownership claims over stock from suppliers are resolved.

Lay-bys will be honoured but gift cards will not due to dwindling consumer discretionary spending and the business’ financial woes.

WOW has been in administration since February 28 because of $20 million in bad debt, tough trading conditions and a 7.7 per cent fall in turnover since fiscal 2010. FH partners Stewart McCallum, James Stewart and Tim Michael were appointed as receivers

McCallum reveals the 2011 Brisbane Business News Top Private Company, which turned over nearly $260 million in fiscal 2011 under the leadership of CEO Guy Griffiths (pictured), still owes $20 million to failed property managers Aristocon.

“WOW has (also) been subject to declining sales and profitability, which have escalated in recent months,” he says in a statement.

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