Farepak Hampers

  Al94 19:46 07 Nov 06
Locked

There has been a lot of publicity regarding the alleged dubious nature of the Farepak demise. You might be interested to learn of the connected elements of the group which includes amongst others,internet trading sites.

European Home Retail plc is a United Kingdom-based company. The Company operates in three divisions. Catalogue Home Shopping (comprising Kleeneze Europe and Farepak); Internet Retailing (comprising I Want One Of Those.com Limited (IWOOT) and Kitbag Sports Limited (Kitbag)), and Television shopping (TV shopping), which incorporates eeZee tv LLP (eeZee tv). Kleeneze Europe is a network marketing company with 15,500 self-employed distributors operating in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Netherlands. Farepak sells Christmas hampers, gifts and shopping vouchers through independent agents.
It operates in two brands, Farepak and Home Farm. IWOOT is the Internet business selling a range of gifts and gadgets from its Website click here. Kitbag is the Internet sports and leisure wear retailer. Kitbag operates through its Website click here. eezee tv broadcasts 14 hours a day of live TV shopping on Sky digital channel 659. On April 1,2005, the Company acquired Kitbag. For the six months ended 31 October 2005, European Home Retail plc's turnover increased 28% to £101.6M.
Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders totaled £764M, vs. an income of £2.9M. Turnover reflects increased sales primarily due to first time contribution of the internet businesses. Net loss reflects decreasing operating margins due to increased cost of sales, higher selling costs, administrative costs and higher amortisation charges.

I understand European Home Retail Ltd may now have filed for bankruptcy.

  ezypcy 20:22 07 Nov 06

"15,500 self-employed distributors " I think this
description is stretching the elastic a wee bit too far!

Poor deluded souls is how they always appear to me,
when they dump that catalogue through my door.
How could anyone ever think that they could earn a
living selling pricey tat.
And how could anyone ever part with good money to such operations.

Even XP is better value!
Because the company won't go bust!

  Al94 21:06 07 Nov 06

Believe it or not, those stats are correct!

  ezypcy 21:56 07 Nov 06

Al94, yes I do believe the figures.
It was the self-employed description bit.

  lisa02 22:00 07 Nov 06

Some do it in their spare time to earn a few quid.

I don't buy from them (kleeneze) as you can buy most items from the £1 shops.

  season8 12:38 08 Nov 06

Banking group HBOS is to donate £2m to Farepak customers after the Christmas hamper and voucher firm collapsed. Halifax, which formed HBOS when it merged with the Bank of Scotland, has been criticised for its role as banker to Farepak's parent company. Critics say Farepak was allowed to continue trading despite its problems.

Swindon-based Farepak ran a savings scheme for about 150,000 people, but collapsed in October without offering its customers compensation.

HBOS provided the overdraft facility to Farepak's owner, European Home Retail (EHR). It was an HBOS decision not to extend EHR's overdraft that eventually led to administrators being called in.

"As banker to EHR, the company which owned Farepak, HBOS at all times sought to help its customer through difficult financial circumstances," the banking group said. "It is right that the group helps Farepak customers as well at this difficult time."
Financial difficulties

Suzy Hall, who has been leading a campaign for compensation, told the BBC that she was "absolutely disgusted" with the sum that HBOS had offered to pay. "EHR announced financial difficulty in June. Why did they not pull the plug in June?" she asked.

"People who have saved hard for Christmas, have literally had Christmas 2006 ripped from under them," she said. Farepak customers are estimated to have lost about £400 each on average, though some are thought to have lost closer to £2,000.

On Tuesday, Ian McCartney, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, described the situation as a "national emergency" and announced that the Farepak Response Fund was being established with help from York-based charity Family Fund.

Supermarket giant Tesco has pledged £250,000 to the fund and called on other firms to help. Marks & Spencer also offered £250,000, and Morrisons is donating £150,000. In another effort to help, High Street firms Sainsbury's and John Lewis have agreed that Farepak customers can get 25% of the value of their savings in Sainsbury's vouchers.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:19 08 Nov 06

All this synchronised goodwill to the Farepak creditors sits very uneasily with me. I, for one, will not contribute to the funds. All the creditors have lost is a Xmas meal and some pressies, it is not the end of the world and many go without meals and pessies all year round without whining all over the news....they have no choice in the matter.

There are many pensioners who have lost their pensions due to their funds collapsing but I have not noticed any MPs and retail giants doing anything for them. They, for the most part, did not have a choice with their pensions, at least the Farepak lot could have put their money in a building society where they would have received some interest, it is unlikely that the money would have 'disappeared' and they would have been able o purchase the goods at a much better price.

G

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:20 08 Nov 06

'There are many pensioners who have lost their pensions due to their funds'.... should have read ' There are many pensioners who have lost their pensions due to their PENSION funds'.

g

  Sethhaniel 13:22 08 Nov 06

were caught in the Smartalk collapse when the bank pulled the plug on their debts - Does this mean we can now claim from the bank for our losses ??? !!! ;)

  €dstowe 14:07 08 Nov 06

I am unable to understand why anyone contributes to these schemes. The hamper company collects (sometimes appreciable amounts of) money from the "clients" for a year. At the end of that time the client receives a hamper (most likely stuffed with obscure items that would never sell elsewhere) or vouchers to the value of the monies paid in. The client does not get any money back nor is there any equivalent of interest paid so, effectively, the client has lost money over the year. In the mean time, the owners/directors are doing all sorts of wild things with the money their gullible clients have willingly given them.

What is wrong with people opening a Christmas savings account at a bank or building society? Why not have a private scheme like my secretary runs outlined click here

At least then you get some interest on your investment AND real money to spend as you wish.

  g0slp 14:27 08 Nov 06

I'm rather cynical regarding politicians at the best of times, but the haste with which these people have tried to jump on the touchy-feely bandwagon frankly makes my flesh crawl.

For Ian McCartney to claim that its a 'national emergency' is, frankly, a disgrace. I do, of course, feel very sorry for those caught in the fall-out of this mess, but by no means should it be described in such emotive language. Spin, anyone?

As €dstowe rightly points out, what's wrong with putting cash in a traditional savings account?

Also, I've seen the flyers for these 'hampers' at times over the years & frankly they didn't seem like good value to me.

I'm pleased to see HBOS putting their hands in their pockets; however I fear that it was only public pressure & the very real fear of bad publicity that forced their hands.

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