ISHKA becomes victim of Australia’s catastrophic summer
One of Australia’s last family-owned retail chains has announced it is entering voluntary administration. ISHKA has been running for almost 50 years, however two recent events have devastated the company, which has over 450 employees.
“We have taken the unusual step for a privately-run family company to speak out during this difficult time. We want our staff, our makers and our suppliers to know we are here to help and support them. We know the ripple effect an event like this can have on hundreds of families and communities involved in the company” ISHKA’s owner Toby Darvall said.
ISHKA sells hand-made crafts, homewares, gifts, clothing, furniture and jewellery from throughout the world, and was started almost 50 years ago in a small workshop in Glen Iris, Melbourne. “Our trade with developing communities provides life options for the many artists, craftsmen and makers from around the world” said Toby.
“Many of our customers have been shopping with us for almost 50 years and many of our suppliers have become family friends after 30+ years of business together”
“After a catastrophic Christmas and summer we realised everything wasn’t right so we’ve been flat out working on solutions to protect staff, suppliers, landlords and creditors. We’ve done everything and explored every option we could to save the business and we are working very closely with our bank. This is a heartbreaking decision to make”
Australia’s unusually challenging summer period, paired with more than $3 million worth of Christmas stock delayed on the wharfs, crippled the business.
ISHKA has 60 stores, including 15 country stores.
“We want our staff, makers and suppliers to know that they will be paid regardless of the outcome. They are our number one priority. We are now in for the fight of our lives to save ISHKA” Toby said.
Rachel Burdett of Cor Cordis has been appointed administrator of the business, and will convene a meeting of creditors within a week.
At this stage, all stores remain open.
“All we can do now is ask Australian families to please support us, please help to save ISHKA,” said Toby.