THE tough retail market may be about to claim the discount store business owned by Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron, with questions growing about the number of stores closing amid reports of mounting losses and unpaid bills.
Ms Cameron acquired Retail Adventures - the operating company behind Go-Lo, Sam's Warehouse, Crazy Clark's and Chickenfeed - for $70 million in 2009, after it collapsed.
The business has reportedly cost her another $70 million in the past two years alone while a high turnover of senior management has led to Ms Cameron taking the reins in March. A recent boardroom exodus has left her as the sole director.
The appointment of high-profile spokesman Grant Vandenberg has not led to any explanation for recent closures, or responses to claims that the company has been behind on its rent and payments to suppliers.
''There's nothing [to report],'' Mr Vandenberg told BusinessDay.
Last week, Tasmanian publications reported that 12 Tasmanian ChickenFeed stores would close over the coming month.
According to the Retail Adventures website, the company still has 300 stores, down from 350 in 2009.
Expansion plans had been put on hold while the company slimmed down its cost base.
Cuts to head-office staff in Sydney early this year were aimed at reining in costs, the company had said.