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Pumpkin Patch receivers close seven stores

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/10/2016 Paul McBeth

The receivers of failed retail chain Pumpkin Patch will close seven stores over the next week-and-a-half with 57 staff to lose their jobs.

KordaMentha's Neale Jackson and Brendon Gibson were appointed by the retailer's lender - ANZ Bank New Zealand - on Wednesday after Pumpkin Patch failed to convince the bank to let it keep trading, and immediately signalled store closures and job losses were likely.

On Friday the receivers said stores in Ponsonby, Takapuna, Henderson, Te Rapa, Wanganui, Hornby, and a Charlie's & Me site at Coastlands will be shut by November 8, with 57 jobs lost.

"Unfortunately, having now had time to assess these stores' financial viability, it is necessary to close them in an effort to stabilise the broader business," Mr Gibson said in a statement.

"Staff have been advised of their store closure and the receivers' intention to pay all entitlements to a maximum of $22,160 (gross) per employee. They have also been given access to EAP (employee assistance programme) support services."

The Australian operations are still under review and no closures have been confirmed.

Earlier this week Mr Gibson said Pumpkin Patch's existing plans to shut down some outlets would be accelerated "in an effort to improve saleability and viability" which would likely lead to job losses amongst the 600 New Zealand staff and 1,000 Australian employees.The receivers want to keep the retailer operating as they hunt for a buyer.

Last year the retailer spurned a number of parties interested in buying the business, saying at the time that they offers weren't compelling enough for the board to consider seriously.

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