Updated: US stationery business buys up Kikki K

Months after falling into voluntary administration, putting the fate of 450 jobs and up to 65 stores on the line, shareholders in stationery business Kikki K have voted to sell the business. 

In a creditors meeting on Zoom on Thursday, June 25, shareholders voted in favour of a deed of company arrangement, administrator J.P. Downey & Co. confirmed to Inside Retail.

The new owner E.C. Designs LLC, which trades as Erin Condren Designs, is based in Austin, Texas, and primarily sells personalised and customised organisation and lifestyle products.

Out of 245 votes cast, 244 voted in favour, with only one voting against – leaving the final figure at 98.85 per cent in favour, and 1.15 per cent against. Creditors are likely to get around 1-2 cents per dollar.

According to J.P. Downey & Co., the decision will save the majority of Kikki K jobs, keep a majority of stores open, and keep landlords with tenants.

“Against the economic woes that we are facing, this is a great result,” the spokesperson said.

It’s expected the Kikki K business will continue to trade in Australia and potentially beyond, though the spokepserson couldn’t confirm if Kikki K’s New Zealand business was part of the DOCA yet.

During the receivership period a number of stores were shuttered due to the economic conditions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government-mandated closure in New Zealand. 

New Zealand stores have already been closed and all staff positions terminated according to BDO, Kikki K’s receiver in New Zealand.

A BDO spokesperson told Stuff that the potential buyer of the Australian operations had also expressed interest in the New Zealand business, and provided information regarding local landlords in order to facilitate the sale.

The fate of many retailers that enter voluntary administration can often be hard to judge, though Kikki K was of great interest to potential buyers almost immediately, with emails seen by Inside Retail confirming nine potential partners had approached the business within 24 hours of its initial administration. 

Additionally, store sales went up 94 per cent and according to the brand, and a few days later the week ended 50 per cent above target Australia-wide. Online revenue rose by 470 per cent at one stage.

Additional reporting by Heather McIlvaine.

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