Dick Smith is business as usual in Warwick on Tuesday. Photo Samantha O'Neil / Warwick Daily News
Dick Smith is business as usual in Warwick on Tuesday. Photo Samantha O'Neil / Warwick Daily News Samantha O'Neil

Shaky future looms for Dick Smith in Warwick

RESIDENTS across the Southern Downs are shocked after hearing one of Australia's largest electrical retailers has been placed in voluntary receivership.

Dick Smith Holdings Ltd operated under four brands, including Dick Smith, with Ferrier Hodgson partners appointed as receivers and managers, and McGrath Nicol appointed as administrator.

The Warwick Dick Smith store traded as usual today, with staff unable to comment on the future of the store.

James Stewart of Ferrier Hodgson said it would be business as usual while the receivers look at options for the group.

Some customers will take a hit, with the announcement that outstanding gift vouchers and deposits have been affected

"Unfortunately, due to the financial circumstances of the group, outstanding gift vouchers cannot be honoured and deposits cannot be refunded," Mr Stewart said.

"Affected customers will become unsecured creditors of the group."

Warwick Daily News attempted to obtain details of the number of employees in Warwick likely to be affected but the receiver was unable to provide these details.

Mr Stewart said employees would continue to be paid and with entitlements expected to be covered under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme if the business could not be sold as a going concern.

Under the FEG scheme, the Australia Government may cover some unpaid entitlements for eligible employees who lose their job due to the liquidation of their employer.

With 393 stores across Australia and New Zealand, Mr Stewart said it was too early to clearly identify the primary causes of the decline.

"Dick Smith is one of the best-known brands associated with consumer electronics in Australia and New Zealand," Mr Stewart said.

"We are immediately calling for expressions of interest for a sale of the business as a going concern."

Ferrier Hodgson revealed the group had 3300 employees with annual sales of approximately $1.3 billion.

Dick Smith began in 1968 as a car radio installation business in Sydney.

In 2012, Woolworths sold the business to Anchorage Capital Partners which then took DSH public in 2013.



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