Staff sacked by text as retail giant collapses
Iconic retail chain Riot Art & Craft has collapsed reportedly owing more than 100 staff millions of dollars in entitlements.
Liquidator Nicholas Giasoumi, of Dye & Co, said the chain's 57 stores around the country, including 11 in Queensland, had been shut permanently with 140 staff terminated.
Employees were estimated to be owed about $3.5 million in wages and entitlements, Mr Giasoumi told Nine News.
Angry staff members told Nine News they were informed via text message on Monday afternoon that they had lost their jobs.
"All stores are closed as of today. You are not required to be at work tomorrow," Riot Art & Craft director Michael Kurc wrote in the text message to staff, as reported by Nine News.
He said COVID-19 would have had an impact on the chain's financial position but it was too early to say if that was the only reason for the collapse. He could not confirm how much was owed to creditors.
"The situation with COVID would not have helped, particularly in Melbourne where we have been closed since March," said Mr Giasoumi.
He said the family-owned Melbourne business had operated for more than 40 years with an extensive network of stores around the country. The staff who were terminated have been informed of their rights to make a claim under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG). He said the business still had an online presence but all physical stores were shut.
Company director Michael Kurc said that after 46 years in business "it's been very traumatic closing doors and beyond that it's out of my hands, it's with the liquidator."
Originally published as Staff sacked by text as retail giant collapses owing millions