The Australian arm of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is back in the hands of directors, but only after the closure of nearly half of its stores.
The doughnut chain voluntarily entered administration on November 1 as low sales, high rents and high distribution costs saw the company unable to meet its financial obligations.
In the ensuing weeks, administrators Mike Smith and Peter Hillig implemented a restructure of the business, closing 24 of the group’s retail outlets, and establishing a $2.3 million fund to partly back creditors.
The store closures have seen 142 part-time, 44 casual and 15 full-time staff made redundant, while 61 other staff were given jobs in nearby stores or facilities.
All redundancy entitlements were to be met in full from the fund, and the 490 remaining staff will be paid as normal, Krispy Kreme said.
Creditors are expected to receive 45 cents in the dollar for claims against the company, depending on the value of those claims.
“The remaining retail outlets all have strong sales and customer support, and the company can now continue trading without underperforming stores adversely affecting the business,” Krispy Kreme Australia chairman John McGuigan said in a statement.
There are now 25 Krispy Kreme retail outlets across the country, with 12 in NSW, eight in Queensland and five in Victoria.
Meanwhile, the operator of the Mrs Fields cookie company has purchased the Australian Cookie Man group, which was placed in liquidation in September.
Cookie Corporation, the master franchisee of Mrs Fields in Australia, will operate the two businesses separately, meaning the two brands will continue to operate independently.