An Australian billiard company has confirmed it will go into liquidation next year.
Key points:Billiard cloth makers, wholesale clothing manufacturers are the major losersThe company will be liquidated due to rising costsBilliards retailer Woolworths said it is looking to save $50 millionA number of other retailers have also announced closures in recent weeks.
But Billiards’ chief executive Mark Thompson said he was confident of a successful sale.
“We have had some very successful sales in recent months, but I’m not worried at all about the future of our business,” Mr Thompson said.
“I think it’s pretty clear that we’ve done pretty well.”
Mr Thompson said Woolworth’s sales had dropped to $1.4 billion in the first half of the year, but had climbed back up in the second quarter.
“That’s a good result for Woolworth, and we’re not seeing a downturn,” he said.
But Woolworth said it would save $250 million to $300 million in the final three months of the financial year, and was planning to sell more than a third of its portfolio to raise funds for the next few years.
“It’s a very challenging period for us,” Mr Clark said.
Mr Thompson is due to give a presentation to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) board next week on the company’s prospects.
“The biggest risk in the retail sector in Australia right now is that we have a significant amount of unsold inventory, but we don’t have a large enough supply of merchandise to meet the demand for it,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“As a result, we are in a very tough spot, and a lot of people are looking at other options.”‘
We’re looking to go out of business’Mr Clark said the company would be shutting down all its existing stores in March, and would sell its current assets at auction to raise the cash.
“At the moment, it’s looking like we’re looking at going out of existence,” he added.
“So we’ve got to think about what we can do to preserve our businesses.”
But I think that’s a decision that the board is very supportive of, and that’s the key thing.
“Woolworths has always been a very positive and positive brand, and so we think that, in the long term, it is a really good business.”‘
The retail industry needs to be able to survive’Billiarts, which sells its products to the retail industry, had a total sales of $2.9 billion last year, with $1 billion of that coming from the online sales of its store-front and catalogue.
It is also the largest billiard shop in Australia, with more than 70,000 customers and nearly a third more than 10,000 of those in the Sydney CBD.
Mr Clark admitted the company had not been profitable for some time, but was optimistic about its future.
“One of the reasons we are going into liquidational proceedings next year is because of the growing costs that we are facing in the sector,” he explained.
“If you look at the last few years, the average billiard is around $300, which means we’ve been spending more than that for the last two years.”[And] we’ve also seen the industry go into the red.
“There’s been a lot more costs in the market, and people are becoming less happy with the retail experience.”