Coast grocer owner collapses with $600k debt
Competition from major supermarkets made survival impossible for two small grocers at Birtinya and Gympie.
Birtinya Foodworks and Gympie Friendly Grocer owner Abid Australia Pty Ltd went into liquidation on July 28 with debts of about $600,000.
Liquidator Paul Nogueira of Worrells Solvency said about $450,000 was claimed by the former business director and $120,000 was owed to landlords.
The remainder was owed to local suppliers, owed about $500 to $1000 each.
"From what we've seen the Birtinya site struggled with profitability ever since it opened its doors," Mr Nogueira said.
"That could be an issue of site choice, with competition coming from the newly opened Aldi and other supermarket complexes nearby."
He said the Gympie site was breaking even, but it wasn't enough for the business to be profitable in the longer term.
"COVID has been a challenge for every business but it's probably obvious this business had a lot of legacy debt issues way before the health pandemic," Mr Nogueira said.
Foodworks Birtinya owner Imran Bandi announced the store's closure via Facebook on July 22.
"It is with saddened hearts and a tear in our eye that we have to let our wonderful community know that we are closing our doors," the post read.
The store opened on the ground level of the Moko waterfront apartments on Regatta Blvd in August, 2018.
At the time the store opening created 15 jobs.
The store was planned to have a focus on fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as "grab and go" meals.
Mr Nogueira said an initial report would be delivered to creditors this week and they would begin the process of recovering funds from the business's assets.