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Oz channel takes another hit as receiver moves in on WOW

Weak sales, property debts take their toll

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Another of Australia’s struggling bricks-and-mortar gadget retailers is in trouble, with the WOW Audio Visual Superstores chain put up for sale by receivers Ferrier Hodgson.

The company had expanded its original operation in Cairns, Queensland, to launch nine other stores in Queensland and five in other states (Albury and Coffs Harbour in NSW, Canberra, Shepparton in Victoria and Darwin in the Northern Territory).

While being read as another symptom of Australia’s weak retail environment, the company operating the business has had to deal with a $AU20 million debt from a property developer’s collapse. When property developer Aristocon went into administration in 2010, it owed $AU27 million to WOW.

WOW’s stores were built by Aristocon, and the two companies formerly shared board members.

It owes $AU26 million to unsecured creditors, which much of that owed to vendors and distributors, and has 500 staff. ®

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