Customers reassured

More than 50 individuals and companies from Central Alberta have been listed as unsecured creditors of Russell Ventures Ltd., the bankrupt owner of The Bedroom Shoppe and The Living Room.

More than 50 individuals and companies from Central Alberta have been listed as unsecured creditors of Russell Ventures Ltd., the bankrupt owner of The Bedroom Shoppe and The Living Room.

Most are customers who paid deposits on furniture they haven’t received, but the man overseeing the liquidation of the stores’ assets said they will get their products.

Bernie Caspick is owner of Ingenious Ideas Inc., a New Brunswick-based company that’s been contracted to sell the assets of The Bedroom Shoppe and The Living Room. The stores, which operated in Liberty Park south of Red Deer and in Calgary and Okotoks, closed in late June.

The liquidation sale started Wednesday, but Caspick requested that customers who made payments for furniture prior to the bankruptcy wait until Monday, July 20, before coming to the stores.

That generated concerns among some customers that furniture they paid for might be sold.

Caspick repeated on Thursday that the timelines were structured to minimize traffic and confusion at the stores during the busy opening days of the sale. He added that the list of customers owed product was only recently finalized and that some of their furniture was inaccessible behind other goods.

“Everybody who paid money down or paid in full will get their product,” said Caspick.

Hudson & Company Insolvency Trustees Inc. is the court-appointed trustee of Russell Ventures’ estate. Robert Price, a vice-president with Hudson & Company, confirmed Caspick’s intent.

“The liquidator, which is Bernie, has agreed that he will bring in the orders and that he will take care of collecting the balance of the funds from the customer and they’ll be able to pick up the order.”

Price said customers who have paid a deposit for goods in the possession of a bankrupt party are normally able to complete the transaction.

“That’s just ordinary business in bankruptcy. If you can identify what it is that you bought and you can show that you bought it and paid for it, then you get it.”

However, if the purchased goods haven’t been received from the supplier, the deposit would normally be forfeited, said Price.

“In this particular case, the liquidator has agreed that he will take that responsibility on to bring the product in so the customers will get their goods.”

Hurdles might remain, he acknowledged, such as arranging for manufacturers to build furniture that hasn’t been started.

“It doesn’t appear that there’s a lot that hasn’t been produced,” added Price.

Caspick also pointed out that some furniture destined for Central Alberta customers remains in Calgary, with its delivery now the responsibility of the buyers.

The Bedroom Shoppe and The Living Room liquidation sale, which Caspick said has been “phenomenol” so far, continues.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com