Retailer in liquidation owing $2.8 million

A QUEENSLAND owned and operated organic retailer has gone into liquidation, owing $2.8 million to more than 200 creditors.

Wray Organic Pty Ltd, which operates stores under the Wray Organic banner in Toowoomba, Ipswich, and Newmarket, was established by owner Deborah Wray and her partner Gary Davis at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast in 2005.

The three stores will close if they can not be sold "as a going concern".

Ben Ismay, liquidator and director of insolvency firm Shaw Gidley, said the six other independent Wray Organic franchises around Queensland would be unaffected by the liquidation.

Mr Ismay said his priority was to find buyers for the three stores owned and run by Wray Organic Pty Ltd.

"The reality is that we need to find a buyer for the stores because they won't continue in operation under our control indefinitely," he said.

"Our number one priority is keeping employees in a job - there are between 40 and 50 over the three stores.

"If we can't find a buyer the doors will be closed and a number of people will be out of work."

The company's Tamworth store and warehouse at Rocklea had closed prior to the appointment of liquidators on February 18.

More than $2.8 million is owed to 203 creditors, and financial records indicate the company holds assets valued at $1.5 million.

Mr Ismay said it was too early to tell why the company had gone into liquidation.

According to the most recent information lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, 10 small businesses and farms around the Darling Downs region have been caught up in the company's liquidation, owed a combined $130,000.

One of those is owed more than $54,000.

Expressions of interest for the purchase of the Toowoomba, Ipswich and Newmarket stores are to be lodged by March 9.