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Business as usual for franchisees after Melissa's liquidation

May 30 2018 06:13
Carin Smith

Cape Town - "We are open for business and there are just a few legalities to sort out before we can rebrand our stores," Surine van Niekerk, owner of the Melissa's franchise in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, told Fin24 on Tuesday.

She is also the franchise owner of the shops in the Somerset Mall in Somerset West and in Hermanus.

Melissa's was founded by Melissa van Hoogstraten in the 1990s.

According to Van Niekerk, only the Melissa's shops still owned by Melissa's head office have been liquidated. These are the shops in Stellenbosch, Table Bay and Kloof Street, Cape Town, said Van Niekerk.

"For the franchisees all over the country nothing changes. Yes, we would have to continue with the concept under different names, but the concept itself works," said Van Niekerk.

"We already own the shops. They have already defranchised us immediately. We received letters to say we are defranchised. The liquidation is not affecting us at all. We are independent restaurants."

She explained that it would now be for each individual franchisee to decide on a new name.

"All the suppliers will still supply us - just under their own branding. The products and quality will stay the same," said Van Niekerk.

She described the original Melissa's concept as that of a shop where you can eat while you browse among amazing products on the shelves.

"That concept is intact, even the look - nobody will make major changes," said Van Niekerk.

She said although they became aware of "some cracks", they were still shocked to hear about the voluntary liquidation proceedings. She has had no contact from the founder to explain or apologise.

An employee at the Stellenbosch shop told Fin24 on Tuesday that they are continuing operations and currently paying suppliers in cash.

The attorney reportedly dealing with the liquidation process did not respond to Fin24's requests for an update, nor did the head office.

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melissa's  |  liquidation  |  retail  |  franchises  |  restaurants
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