Retailers abandon Croydon Village Outlet 'shambles' after going weeks unpaid

Croydon Guardian: Shoppers outside Croydon Village Outlet on its opening day in September Shoppers outside Croydon Village Outlet on its opening day in September

Croydon Village Outlet has descended into "a shambles" with suppliers going unpaid for months and police called to disputes over stock, staff said this week.

Several retailers this month abandoned their concessions within the town-centre department store, which opened in September amid much fanfare, amid falling customer numbers and mounting arrears.

It is understood retailers went at least seven weeks without receiving money from sales earlier this year.

The situation is said to be so dire that some staff said they feared the North End store could close, just six months after owner Marco Cash declared it would last for 150 years.

One employee, who has worked at the store since it opened and did not want to be named, said: "It is a shambles.

"There store is looking dreadful and all is happening is sales are going down and down and concessions are trying to pull out left, right and centre.

"Half a dozen have left in the last couple of weeks.

He added: "Everyone is just waiting for them to go bust because there is no stock now because none of the concessions are being paid so none of them are sending any stock.

"No one ever tells you what's going on. They avoid speaking to you."

Croydon Village Outlet is understood have called the police when a gifts retailer tried to remove their stock from the department store.

The retailer later agreed to continue trading there if they could install their own tills, an arrangement many traders have now insisted on.

Initially Croydon Village Outlet took all sales proceeds before paying concessions their share.

Hatz, a family-run business that previously traded in Allders department store, pulled out of Croydon Village Outlet last week and will now close entirely.

Monique Rebeiro, co-owner, said: "They have now recently paid us, but we went unpaid long enough for us to think, This is ridiculous and we can't do this any longer.'

Croydon Guardian:

Croydon Guardian:

Marco Cash (top) outside the former Allders department store and Croydon Village  Outlet in busier times

"We gave our three months notice in December. There's no people in the store, a lack of sales. It wasn't benefiting us at all. I was paying wages for no return, so what's the point? There is only so much you can take."

She added: "It was quite good to begin with but obviously there is no cash flow because there are no customers in there.

"The disappointment is how they have handled some of the Croydon staff, young people especially.

"There are a lot of distressed young people running around thinking it's their fault they've lost their job when obviously it isn't."

Croydon Guardian:

Monique Ribeiro and Margaret Chatelier reopened Hatz in Croydon Village Outlet after the closure of Allders left the business homeless

Mr Cash did not respond to requests for comment.

Property giants Westfield and Hammerson last year said Croydon Village Outlet would have no place in their £1bn town centre redevelopment, but a defiant Mr Cash insisted the store would be an "established force pulling millions of people into the town" by the time work begins.

Hundreds of people turned up to see the store open in September.

But the opening descended into chaos when the store was forced to close just two hours later after its tills broke.

Do or did you work in Croydon Village Outlet? Email chris.baynes@london.newsquest.co.uk or 0208 722 6351 to give us your account.


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Comments (8)

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12:37pm Wed 19 Mar 14

MrsGee says...

Ha! Not a real surprise, this store was doomed from day one.
Marco Too Much Cash looks like a proper scam artist and he well and truly took the mickey out of the store and out of Croydon. The store looks absolutely horrendous and the stock is from the 70's..if it even ever was in fashion.
Hope it will close down soon.
Ha! Not a real surprise, this store was doomed from day one. Marco Too Much Cash looks like a proper scam artist and he well and truly took the mickey out of the store and out of Croydon. The store looks absolutely horrendous and the stock is from the 70's..if it even ever was in fashion. Hope it will close down soon. MrsGee
  • Score: 20

1:10pm Wed 19 Mar 14

ArfurTowcrate says...

It's a shame, but this store hasn't lived up to its promises. The "designer clothes" are old tat from Iabels I've never heard of, ditto the men's shoes. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole place burned down.
It's a shame, but this store hasn't lived up to its promises. The "designer clothes" are old tat from Iabels I've never heard of, ditto the men's shoes. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole place burned down. ArfurTowcrate
  • Score: 10

1:46pm Wed 19 Mar 14

woowoowend says...

My friend and I walked in there and the place was filthy, clothes every, and the stench was revolting, we didnt even bother looking round we had to get out of there pronto!
My friend and I walked in there and the place was filthy, clothes every, and the stench was revolting, we didnt even bother looking round we had to get out of there pronto! woowoowend
  • Score: 14

1:51pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Dani78 says...

ha ha Marco "I have no cash" is a joke and the store is a proper dive hole, lots of other shops better then this tripe... thornton heath has better shops then this store lol
ha ha Marco "I have no cash" is a joke and the store is a proper dive hole, lots of other shops better then this tripe... thornton heath has better shops then this store lol Dani78
  • Score: 11

7:38pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Launchballer says...

My advice for this department store is as follows: Pull the whole lot down and replace it with a John Lewis. They already have presence in the area - a John Lewis at home on Purley Way and a Waitrose within walking distance of Fairfield Halls - and people regularly travel via the X26 to the Kingston branch.
My advice for this department store is as follows: Pull the whole lot down and replace it with a John Lewis. They already have presence in the area - a John Lewis at home on Purley Way and a Waitrose within walking distance of Fairfield Halls - and people regularly travel via the X26 to the Kingston branch. Launchballer
  • Score: 21

9:02am Thu 20 Mar 14

CROYDON RESI says...

OMG !! From the very moment I heard about this store I was suspicious.

Isn't obvious to everyone that this store has one purpose and that is to be bought out at a hefty profit by the new Westfield & Hammerson/Croydon Council? It could be a CPT but this guy has taken a not so huge gamble on that part.

He has never, EVER had any intention of running the kind of store that was promised. He isn't interested, don't waste your time trying to get a comment from him.
He wants to be bought out at a profit and that's it.
OMG !! From the very moment I heard about this store I was suspicious. Isn't obvious to everyone that this store has one purpose and that is to be bought out at a hefty profit by the new Westfield & Hammerson/Croydon Council? It could be a CPT but this guy has taken a not so huge gamble on that part. He has never, EVER had any intention of running the kind of store that was promised. He isn't interested, don't waste your time trying to get a comment from him. He wants to be bought out at a profit and that's it. CROYDON RESI
  • Score: 19

1:35pm Thu 20 Mar 14

ANNE GILES says...

I never went there.
I never went there. ANNE GILES
  • Score: -7

11:33am Fri 21 Mar 14

John C. Edwards says...

This building is now an eyesore. Demolish it quickly and let's have a proper glass structure with John Lewis.
This building is now an eyesore. Demolish it quickly and let's have a proper glass structure with John Lewis. John C. Edwards
  • Score: 4

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