Local fashion stores Valleygirl and sister company Temt have closed.
Although the outlets at Botany Town Centre were opened as usual this morning with next to no stock in the stores, by 1pm they were both shut.
A sign in both shops reads: “Valleygirl New Zealand Limited was placed into receivership on 26 July 2016 and this store has now closed.” People are directed to put their queries to McGrathNicol’s Mark Brooks.
Conor McElhinney and William Black of McGrathNicol were appointed receivers and managers of the women’s fashion and apparel retailer, Valleygirl New Zealand, last Tuesday – July 26. The company traded under the Valleygirl and Temt brands at 31 stores throughout the country, supported by approximately 160 employees. The company had already been placed into voluntary administration by its director, Hana Ma, on July 22.
Receiver Conor McElhinney said in a media statement today that “after undertaking a detailed assessment following our appointment, it has become apparent that the company is unable to continue to trade due to its financial position and stock levels.
“Consequently, we have had to close all Valleygirl and Temt stores today, other than the Queen Street store. We can confirm that all staff will be paid their wages for the period worked since the company was placed into voluntary administration on July 22; staff were paid on Friday for July 22 to 26 inclusive,” he said.
The Receivers also noted that, based on their initial review of company information, it appears that the cause of the failure of the New Zealand business may have been poor trading of related Australian retailers, Paper Scissors and Chicabooti. Both the Australian and New Zealand stores were stocked by the same suppliers, managed through an Australian head office. When the Australian business failed, the company could no longer secure ongoing stock supply, he said.
A staff member at Temt this morning confirmed they did receive pay on Friday. She had no idea what would be happening with the stores but didn’t hold out much hope they would remain open.
The New Zealand Companies Office lists Hana Ma of Northcote as director of the company and Hyuk Sang Ma of the same address as the sole shareholder.
Hana Ma’s profile on business-oriented social networking platform LinkedIn identifies him as CEO of MHN Trading Pty, Sydney and gives Ma’s current companies as Hanama Collection Pty Ltd/Valleygirl New Zealand Ltd, a position held since 2012. Ma’s previous positions are listed as general manager of MHN Trading Pty (2010 – 2011) and national retail manager of Valleygirl New Zealand Ltd (2008 – 2009).
The Times was unable to find contact details for Ma in Northcote.
Mr McElhinney said it was “very difficult” working through the systems in Australia.
A staff member at Temt said there were four staff there – one full-time and the others part-time.
Valleygirl also has four staff with just one full-time. Desiree Clark, senior marketing manager at Botany Town Centre, said on Friday the centre’s owner AMP Capital is working with the receiver of Valleygirl and Temt NZ “to understand how this will impact their stores in our shopping centres”.
“AMP Capital’s leasing team is actively managing the portfolio, so if the decision is made to close both stores we would take the opportunity re-lease the tenancies, which are good locations in high quality regional shopping centres.”