Carluccio's collapses into administration
Italian-inspired restaurant and deli chain Carluccio's has entered administration, due to problems "exacerbated by Covid-19".
Advisory firm FRP has been appointed to oversee the administration.
Carluccio's has 71 restaurants across the UK, which are already currently closed due to coronavirus measures.
The restaurant chain employs around 2,000 people, whose jobs will now sadly be at risk – though the administrators have said many employees will be furloughed as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme while it assesses all the options for the business.
What can I do if I've got a gift card?
If the gift card was a present, find out how it was purchased. If it was bought directly from Carluccio's and paid for using a credit or debit card, the first thing to do is try to make a chargeback claim through the bank or card company.
If your gift card is worth more than £100 and was paid for with a credit card, it's also possible for the purchaser to claim a refund under Section 75, which offers legal protection (though in practice a claim will likely be processed as a chargeback anyway, so the most important thing is to get in touch with the credit card provider).
If this doesn't work, you – as the gift card holder – can register with the administrators as an unsecured creditor, though sadly you'll be at the back of a long queue.
It's also worth noting that the administrators have said they are speaking to "interested parties" about the possibility of selling part or all of the Carluccio's business. If a sale did go ahead, the administrators told us it would be up to the new owner to decide whether or not to continue accepting gift cards. So if a refund has not been possible using the methods above, it's still worth holding onto your gift card just in case.
See our Administration Help guide for full info.
What do the administrators say?
Geoff Rowley, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: "We are operating in unprecedented times, and the issues currently facing the hospitality sector following the onset of Covid-19 are well documented.
"In the absence of being able to continue to trade Carluccio's, in the short term, we are urgently focused on the options available to preserve the future of the business and protect its employees.
"We welcome the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and look forward to working with HMRC to access the support it provides for companies in administration and their employees.
"As this fast-moving situation progresses we will remain in regular communication with all employees and key stakeholders, and will provide a further update in due course."