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Croydon business owed thousands by ailing Allders

Margaret Chatelier and Monique Rebeiro at the opening of Hatz in Allders in 2006

Margaret Chatelier and Monique Rebeiro at the opening of Hatz in Allders in 2006

First published in Local news Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor - Croydon and Sutton

A small business running out of Allders faces bankruptcy after more than £20,000 in concessions payments were withheld by the crisis-stricken department store.

Hatz, run by Margaret Chatelier and Monique Rebeiro, moved into Allder’s Department Store’s fashion section in 2006 selling bespoke tailored hats with an annual turnover of around £100,000.

Allders was placed into administration last week after crisis talks to resolve finance issues failed.

Mrs Rebeiro explained she first realised there were problems in spring this year.

She said: "We usually get a statement, with our takings, minus VAT and what we owe Allders, each month. We were getting the statements but when I checked my bank statement the money hadn’t been paid."

Statements seen by the Croydon Guardian show £2,936.33 for January was paid to Hatz in February 24, but payments for February, £3,452.20 were not paid in until May and no takings have been paid to the company since.

A token £2,000 was paid by Allders on June 14 after Mrs Rebeiro met with finance officers but the company is still owed more than £20,000.

Mrs Rebeiro said: "It is not just the money we are owed, which is a lot for a company like ours.

"We don’t have enough money to buy stock so we are missing out on sales.

"Summer is our busiest period. You have Ascot, where we make huge sales, and we are having to turn customers away. It is absolutely horrendous."

Mrs Rebeiro explained she had even had to transfer £5,000 from her personal account to the company account to pay staff.

She now fears for her company’s future.

She said: "I am furious. I feel we have been lied to and could now lose our business. I’m sure others are in the same position."

Administrators Duff & Phelps have promised all creditors who register their debts with them will be reimbursed, but could offer no timetable for when this could be done.

A spokesman for the company said: "Concession holders are classed as creditors and as part of the administration process will have what is owed to them added to the total amount in liabilities.

"The administrators are still assessing the overall financial picture."

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