Max Brenner Australia has entered voluntary administration, with McGrathNicol appointed administrators on 30 September.
The dessert chain’s Australian operation includes 37 stores located across the country and employs approximately 600 staff. While its future is in doubt, McGrathNicol issued a statement saying all Max Brenner stores will continue to operate on a ‘business as usual’ basis while they conduct an urgent review.
Max Brenner’s directors sighted tough retail trading conditions and increasing costs of business as reasons for their decision to appoint administrators. McGrathNicol administrators Barry Kogan, Kathy Sozou and Jason Preston are working closely with the existing management team. They are yet to decide whether sell the business or recapitalise.
Founded in Israel by Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner in 1996, Max Brenner originally operated as a small chain of chocolate shops. It now has locations in the USA, China, Japan and Russia as well as Australia, where it opened its first outlet in Sydney’s Paddington in 1999. Max Brenner’s Australian stores are owned and run by Tom and Lilly Haikin.
It’s the latest in a line of food businesses to face financial difficulties this year; Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group Australia was also placed in voluntary administration earlier this year and Retail Food Group, which owns Gloria Jean’s, Michel’s Patisserie, Donut King, Brumby’s Bakery and Crust Pizza, announced it will close up to 200 stores by mid-2019.