Sunrise Department Store (中興百貨) promised to redeem NT$2.5 million (US$77,400) in vouchers in circulation should the store's concessionaires refuse to honor the vouchers, a company executive said yesterday.
"All vouchers can be cashed [at the counters] on the basement floor," Sunrise president Jeff Tsai (蔡振世) told reporters yesterday, one day after some concessionaires refused to accept Sunrise-issued vouchers and expressed concern over media reports of the retailer bouncing checks.
Tsai assured consumers that all vouchers issued by the retailer remain valid, while rejecting media reports that it plans to shut down its Taipei store after bouncing NT$300 million in checks.
"We are experiencing some management difficulties and are seeking a new buyer," Tsai said. "But closure isn't an option."
Although the retailer owes NT$900 million in combined debts, Tsai said that it was not imperative for the company to shut down as it still had NT$2 billion in total assets.
He admitted that the company was facing a liquidity problem after some suppliers insisted on cashing their checks in advance.
The company is in talks with suppliers to ease the credit crunch and maintain normal operations, Tsai said.
Tsai attributed the department store's financial difficulties to a "sluggish economy," saying revenues during its anniversary sale promo early this month achieved less than 70 percent of its NT$350 million goal.
Formerly known as Sesame Department Store (
Sunrise was one of the first retailers to introduce upscale brands such as Armani in Taiwan, but slow business later forced the company to close two of its branches -- Xinyi in July 2004 and Hsinchu in July 2005 -- leaving a single outlet in Taipei.
Like most other smaller players, Sunrise faces stiff competition from neighboring retailers, such as Breeze Center (
Meanwhile, retailer Idee Department Store's (
Idee, an affiliate of the debt-ridden Rebar Asia Pacific Group (
Shinkong spokesman and chief financial officer Kevin Ho (