E-store kept alive by administrator

Beleaguered dotcom E-store resumed trading yesterday afternoon under the watchful eye of administrator Star Dean-Willcocks.

Ian Purchase of Star Dean-Willcocks said he hoped a stripped down version of the e-tailer would continue to trade until its fate is decided in consultation with E-store's major creditors in the coming weeks.

E-store fell into administration last week, with reports suggesting the company could no longer pay supply agreements after stock delivery processes went pear shaped. Purchase confirmed that "part of the problem was that [E-store] could not track delivery" of its stock.

With Star Dean-Willcocks now held liable for any further debt, Purchase claims the company will proceed cautiously in operating E-store at around 95 per cent capacity using only a handful of suppliers. An agreement has also been reached with logistics company TNT, which Purchase claims will streamline the delivery of stock.

At this stage Purchase claims the company will move to a Deed of Company Agreement with existing creditors that will see them either accept a number of cents in the dollar return on their debt or have E-store thrown into liquidation. If the company is liquidated, Purchase claims that remaining staff will receive their full entitlements, leaving creditors with next to nothing.

"Most people from a business sense would accept the agreement," Purchase told ARN. "It's better to get some of your money back than nothing and still retain a customer."

The other alternative is to sell the company, with Star Dean-Willcocks in discussions with "a number" of interested parties.

Star Dean-Willcocks will hold a creditor's meeting tomorrow (October 10) at its Sydney offices. A creditor's report will be released on October 22.

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Richard Noone

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