The tough consumer spending climate has claimed another victim, with electronics retailer WOW to switch off the lights and send almost 600 employees home without a job.
WOW will close all of its stores later this month and will not honour customer gift cards in the meantime.
Receivers for the chain of 15 stores have been unable to find a buyer, following declining sales in a weak consumer environment characterised by heavy discounting.
Its receiver Ferrier Hodgson said employee entitlements would be protected under the federal government's General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS).
However, a Ferrier Hodgson spokesman was unable to confirm whether collapsed property development investment firm Aristocon Pty Ltd owed up to $27 million to WOW, leaving it with $25 million in unsecured creditors.
"The bad debt owed to WOW has certainly been a factor in the business being in the position it's in," the spokesman said.
"But also there has been this downturn in consumer spending which has had an impact as well.
"It's a combination of factors that have left WOW in this position."
The group has been subject to declining sales and profitability, which has escalated in recent months.
The store closures and job losses come as major electronics retailers around the country, such as Harvey Norman, lament recent heavy discounting and fierce competition in the sector.
Receiver James Stewart said the WOW group had been affected by the bad debt owed by Aristocon, which collapsed in 2010.
Tough trading conditions and an eight per cent fall in turnover had contributed to the collapse of WOW, Mr Stewart said.
"The business was suffering from the same decrease in consumer discretionary spending currently being felt by other Australian retailers."
WOW sold home entertainment systems, computers, office equipment, car audio systems, telecommunications, cameras, DVDs, games and CDs.
It has 10 Queensland stores, two in NSW and one each in Victoria, the ACT and the Northern Territory.
Ferrier Hodgson partner Stewart McCallum confirmed the WOW store closures would result "in approximately 580 job losses".
Redundant staff would be paid their salaries in the normal course of business but could wait three months to receive all of their entitlements.
"Other employee entitlements, which are protected under the federal government's GEERS, will not be paid until the realisation of all the group's business assets is concluded and the ownership claims over stock by suppliers have been resolved," Mr McCallum said in a statement.
"This is expected to take at least three months."
Ferrier Hodgson previously said $4 million in employee entitlements had been protected under GEERS and the business was on the market as a going concern.
The group's turnover for fiscal 2011 was $257 million, or 7.7 per cent, lower than for fiscal 2010.
WOW will hold a closing down sale to offload its stock over the next few weeks, beginning on Thursday.
The Queensland-based audio-visual chain was a major sponsor of the Broncos in the National Rugby League until 2011.
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