Friday the 13th of October 2006 is currently a day which will be remembered as the day Christmas 2006 was ripped from the hands of all Agents/customers of Farepak Food & Gifts Limited. Hundreds of thousands of people had saved faithfully each month (sometimes having to rob Peter to pay Paul) to ensure that Christmas would be taken care of by the delivery of hampers and shopping vouchers. As it stands at this point no hampers, no shopping vouchers - NOTHING - will be delivered as Farepak Food & Gifts Limited are now in receivership/administration.
In June 2006, European Home Retail Ltd (Farepak\'s parent company) advised that their funding would not last past the autumn and that they would be seeking additional funding. No customers of Farepak were given any warning about this.
23 August 2006 EHR\'s shares were suspended from trading on the Stock Market, again, no customers were given any warning yet Farepak\'s bank, HBOS (Halifax Bank of Scotland) allowed Farepak to continue trading pulling in at least Â£1million per week.
Mr Frank Field MP (Labour) states "If HBOS didn\'t know they were taking Xmas savings from poorer people, then they were either fools or knaves - let them choose which. A goodwill gesture now could clear the air rather than wait for the Department of Trade and Industry investigation,"
We therefore call upon HBOS to make good which they helped make so wrong on that fateful day of Friday 13th October 2006 and restore the savings that each customer made in good faith throughout the year.
This petition will be delivered to HBOS (snail and email) on 11 December 2006. If you support the fact that HBOS should return all customer payments in full, please sign below.
The Story So Far...
Farepak Hampers began trading in 1969 from Westmead Drive, Westlea Swindon. In 2004 Farepak employed 130 staff and during hamper production an additional 150 temporary packers. By 2006 the number of employees had dropped to 20 with 75 additional temporary packers to be taken on at the Christmas period.
Farepak Hampers origins can be traced back as far as 1935. Bob Johnson was appointed Managing Director with 500 Agents of this small Christmas savings club in 1969 which operated out of a butchers shop in Peckham.
Kleeneze Homecare had been operating since 1923 (now Kleeneze UK) and was acquired by Farepak in 1995. Farepak changed its name to Kleeneze plc and at this time extracted the central part of their business to its subsidiary Farepak Food & Gifts Limited. Kleeneze plc changed its name to European Home Retail plc (EHR) in 2006.
On 30 June 2006 an announcement was posted on EHR
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