Dude, this is not sounding good.
While trying to find out what's been going on with Maclaren USA and its bankruptcy liquidation, I've been hearing from customers and retailers who deal with them, and current and former Mac employees, some who were laid off, and some who quit.
I think we can rest assured, unfortunately, that all is not well on their end.
I'm not going to relay the details, but there are multiple, similar-sounding accounts of managerial chaos, extremely high turnover, sudden layoffs, and eye-popping customer service disasters. And current Maclaren owner Farzad Rastegar figures unfavorably in almost every one of them.
On the specific issues surrounding the bankruptcy, I'm told that the company "restructured all the time," almost as a management strategy. New corporate entities were springing up regularly. One thing seems clear, though, that after the creation of Maclaren NA in late 2010, Maclaren USA became essentially a zombie company that nobody wanted to talk about. On the company's computer network and IT system, USA was closed off, with Rastegar retaining the only login.
While such segregation makes a certain amount of sense from the standpoint of corporate law, and are particularly important to demonstrating that the corporate entities are indeed separate, it also apparently caused a great deal of stress and confusion on Maclaren's operations last year. And it also begs the question of why the company was run this way. And what was Rastegar's purpose for saddling Mac USA with massive, internally generated debt [the $14 million to Maclaren HK, in particular]; and then locking it up and starving it for a year-plus before liquidating it when no one was watching.
As for Hong Kong, basically every employee I've spoken to so far identified Maclaren HK Ltd as the functioning headquarters of the company.
Which, I guess all of this amazes me because of how far removed it feels from my own perception of the Maclaren brand. As a happy-go-lucky Mac pusher for years now, I have always somehow imagined the company as a solid, slightly fashionable, British institution. Only it turns out to be an increasingly dubious offshore shitstorm. Which is really kind of depressing.