Controversial shoe store collapses

A luxury shoe retailer has gone out of business after years of controversy and multiple angry customers.

Luxury shoe store Sneakerboy has gone into voluntary management after a wave of controversy.

The company, which sells shoes like Balenciaga and Canada Goose for well over $1000, has been dealing with scandals and multiple liquidation orders in recent years.

The move was confirmed in an appointment notice released Saturday by the Australian Securities and Investments (ASIC), with Stephen Dixon of insolvency firm Hamilton Murphy Advisory being chosen as administrator.

Five companies were featured on the posting, Sneakerboy Pty Ltd and two related companies under the name Sneakerboy, and Luxury Retail Treasury Pty Ltd and Luxury Retail Group Pty Ltd (Sneakerboy’s parent company).

“The Sneakerboy Group of Companies announced today that Stephen Dixon of Hamilton Murphy Advisory has been appointed as the voluntary trustee of the companies,” Hamilton Murphy Advisory said in a statement.

“The appointment of the Voluntary Board was made due to short-term financing difficulties the company is experiencing.

“The difficult but cautious decision has been made to initiate the Voluntary Governance process. The Administrator will now assess the continued viability of the business as he assesses the ability of the businesses to continue to operate as a going concern.

It comes after the companies faced more than 10 liquidation orders in the past three years, including from Adidas, the Victorian Commission of State Revenue and AMP Pacific Fair (the operators of the Gold Coast Pacific Fair mall where Sneakerboy had a store).

Sneakerboy only has four stores left – three in Melbourne and one in Sydney, and an online store.

Frustrated customers have bombed the company’s online platforms and review sites in recent months over delayed orders dating back to January.

“Do not order anything online from Sneaker Boy, they HAVE NO STOCK!!! They lie to their customers, take your money and claim that they are behind on orders and that’s why there is a “delay” with shipping. This is an absolute lie. I spoke to a Golden Goose representative who has confirmed that they have been out of the Sneakerboy for months. Anything you order through their website doesn’t actually exist in their warehouse, but they keep taking orders and never respond to your emails,” said one angry customer on Trustpilot.

“Bought a sweater over $200 over two months ago. It still hasn’t arrived. I’ve sent countless emails, Instagram messages and phone calls and no response,” said another.

“Stop trying to hide people in the email section and then ignore them, you guys are scammers and I will contact all channels until I get my order or a full refund (no credit), really disgusting how things are done. If my package is waiting to be picked up, what is the shipping company and reference details?” one frustrated customer asked.

A short statement on Sneakerboy’s website said “Sneakerboy is in administration”.

“All orders from July 2, 2022 will be fulfilled by the administrators in the future. For all orders placed before July 2, 2022, please contact Hamilton Murphy at (03) 8866 7600.

Hamilton Murphy Advisory said the companies have previously held talks with parties that have expressed interest in acquiring the company.

“These discussions are now urgently escalated by the administrator as part of the voluntary administration process,” it said.

The first creditors’ meeting will take place next week on Wednesday, July 13 at 11 a.m.

During this meeting, all stakeholders are provided with information about the financial and structural position of the companies.

Sneakerboy Retail Pty Ltd and Luxury Retail Group are run by Nelson Mair and Theo Poulakis.

Sneakerboy was contacted for further comment.

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