Customer anger over Baby Bounce collapse
Customers of failed infant goods retailer Baby Bounce have lost at least half of the money they have put down in lay-bys on cots, strollers and infant capsules.
Since the collapse of the chain on Monday, customers have also had difficulty claiming items they have already paid for.
Baby Bounce has gone into voluntary administration, placing the future of its 10 stores across New South Wales and Queensland in doubt.
Administrator Cor Cordis has offered customers who made lay-by deposits in cash a 50 per cent credit to use in store, sparking a flood of anger from upset parents on Baby Bounce's Facebook page.
"This is disgraceful," one mum said in a comment.
"Why should we only get 50 per cent of our money back?"
A Gold Coast woman said she was trying to collect a $200 bassinet she had already paid for and was told to pick it up from a store, only to arrive and find the outlet closed.
"We need it as soon as possible as our baby could arrive any time," she wrote.
Brisbane mum-to-be Rose Govender collected a baby capsule from a local Baby Bounce store on Wednesday.
She had paid $379 for it March but was told at the store she had to pay another $335 to pick it up.
"I am due in two weeks time so I had no option but to pay for it twice," Ms Govender told AAP.
Administrator Alan Walker from Cor Cordis told AAP that the additional charge was an error and Ms Govender would be refunded.
"We understand the impact administration has on customers, employees and creditors and we are working to bring about the best possible outcome for all involved," he said.
In a statement, the administrators said they "understand that a number of customers made lay-by purchases prior to their appointment".
"However, the companies, due to their financial positions, are not in a position to meet these orders in full," Cor Cordis said.
Baby Bounce closed its WA stores last year and the collapse of its NSW and Queensland operations follows the voluntary administration of Baby Savings in Sydney last week and the closure of Bubs Baby Shops late last year.
Meanwhile, the future of 40-plus Toys R US stores in Australia and associated Babies R Us outlets remain in doubt after the US parent company filed for bankruptcy and reportedly plans to close its US and UK stores.
Baby Bunting, Australia's largest infant goods retailer, says the current number of mergers and closures in the sector are at "unprecedented" levels.
The ASX-listed company's chief executive Matt Spencer says the latest events may trigger more aggressive discounting in coming months.
The baby goods sector is up against discount department stores and the growth of online shopping, including the recent arrival of Amazon Australia.
Cor Cordis is assessing the financial position of Baby Bounce and will try to sell the business as a going concern.
A creditors meeting is set for April 18.
Back to Breaking News