Warrnambool Dimmeys retail outlet spared

IT’S business as usual for the Warrnambool Dimmeys store, despite the national retailer being placed in administration.

Administrator Richard Cauchi, from SV Partners, said at this stage no jobs would be affected and the Lava Street store would remain open.

He said the administrators were going through the evaluation process, with a view to selling the business intact.

Mr Cauchi said although he couldn’t predict the future, nothing had changed at this point.

There are 41 Dimmeys outlets across Australia, employing about 490 people.

On Wednesday an advertisement was placed in national newspapers calling for expressions of interest in the sale of the business’ assets.

Dimmeys was fined $3 million in late December after the Federal Court found it had contravened Australian consumer law by selling items, including bath toys, children’s swimwear, cosmetics and basketball rings, that were hazardous or did not carry compliant warning labels.

The retailer’s owner Doug Zappelli, who took over the running of business in 1996, was banned from managing corporations for six years and fined $120,000.

Dimmeys’ legal compliance officer Ken Hampson said the hefty fine had led to the voluntary administration.

He said its only external creditors were Consumer Affairs Victoria, which  brought the most recent case against the retailer, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which successfully issued legal proceedings against it in 2011. Dimmeys was subsequently ordered to pay $400,000 for selling children’s nightwear that did not carry compliant fire hazard warning labels.

cquirk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

With The Age

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