The full extent of the enormous debts racked up by the independent department store Peters before its liquidation can be revealed today.
The Packhorse Centre store went into voluntary liquidation last month with debts of more than £834,000 to over 100 creditors from Cornwall to Blackburn.
And in a summary of liabilities, the liquidators, Huddersfield’s Brook Business Recovery Ltd, give the ‘estimated total deficiency’ as £912,213.51.
LOOK at this BBC documentary trailer about the store
Last month the Examiner revealed that insolvency experts had been called into what is probably Huddersfield’s best-known store.
Thirty staff, most of them part-time, were made redundant though at the time director David Whittle said he hoped to re-employ the majority of them.
And it was only a matter of days before the store reopened on February 6 as Peters after Mr Whittle bought the name through the liquidator.
At the reopening he said: “The company is now C&D Retail Ltd and the store is a completely new business and will be a fashion and accessory store.
“We have been working with designers and merchandisers all week and will be trading on the ground floor of the premises.”
A copy of Peters Statement of Company’s Affairs, which was run by LPQ Ltd, as detailed by Brook Business Recovery Ltd, has been obtained by this newspaper.
Take a look at the opening of The Chinese Buffet that opened up in the former Peters store below
It shows that its biggest creditor was Kirklees Council with more than £180,000 owing. Not far behind are Peters directors, David and Caroline Whittle, with more than £110,000 chalked up.
Other large amounts owed include more than £30,000 to the Inland Revenue, £20,961.44 to Ashley Business Finance Ltd of Manchester and over £29,000 to HSBC Bank Plc, Leeds.
Peters' Cafe opening
Inevitably, there were much smaller debts too ranging from a sock seller, Sockshop Ltd in Bolton, owed £1,065,09 and Silky Hosiery/Legwear in Nottingham owed £163.44.
In the Summary of Liabilities as of February 5 the statement says Trade & Expense Creditors were owed: £582,465,26; Employees £65,712; Loan Creditors £69,975.79 and Directors: £122,910.
And when it came to assets the statement reveals that the book value of fixtures and fittings valued at £53,180 and stock valued at £23,306.69, totalling more than £76,000 realised only £7,000 when bought by the Whittles.
Contacted by the Examiner, Mr Whittle said: “I have no comment to make at all.”
He was slightly more forthcoming when asked last month about the reasons for the store’s failure saying it had “been an extremely difficult trading period.”
And insolvency practitioner Charles Brook shed more light on the crash when he told the Examiner at the end of January: “Peters has demonstrated considerable resilience throughout the recession.
“However, in a sector that is dominated by national retailers that actually plan to operate a heavily discounted product offering, it became extremely difficult for the company to compete on equal terms.”
The Examiner also approached Kirklees Council for comment as to why such a large debt was allowed to be run up but none was forthcoming.
Peters was moved more than 12 months ago from its home in King Street where it had been set up by Mr Whittle’s father Peter in 1982.
At the time Mr Whittle said the four-storey King Street store was proving more and more expensive to maintain – making the business unsustainable on that site.
He said the move to the new premises would reduce overheads as well as provide a more modern shopping environment for customers.