As Wrapit folds, newlyweds tie their hopes to the bank

By Leon Symons, August 8, 2008

The fears of many newlywed couples hardened into reality this week when online wedding gift company Wrapit went into administration and closed on Monday.

Many of its 2,000 clients were Jewish, some of whom were highlighted in last week's JC.

One, Manchester solicitor Marc Yaffe, has been one of the worst affected. He and his wife Natalie were married on June 29 and have not received any presents.

Mr Yaffe said: "I will wait to see how things take their course. There has been talk of one of the major department stores stepping in to help but I don't know how that will happen.  "What we anticipate is that all the present-givers will become creditors, but I think there will be other options. We must wait and see."

The company, started by Toronto-born Jewish ex-fashion writer Pepita Diamand seven years ago, failed to find new investors who would inject capital to save the business. In a letter to clients, managing director Peter Gelardi continued to lay the blame for its failure at the door of HSBC, its bank, despite the fact that Wrapit had been in the red every year since 2002, according to its audited accounts.

In a statement, HSBC once again rejected the charge that it was to blame, saying: "The company directors have made several statements and suggestions for a resolution for outstanding orders, none of which HSBC considers appropriate or practical. HSBC's view is that this should never have happened and had the directors acted sooner to address their financial difficulties and appointed administrators when HSBC recommended, it may not have.

"This is a complex situation and we are working with KPMG (the administrator) to get a clearer understanding of the company's financial situation and agree a way forward, but the company has only been in administration for 24 hours and this will take some time."

The bank said if someone had paid for a gift with a credit card and the product was not delivered, they could get a refund by contacting the credit card company, which in turn could claim from HSBC.

Last updated: 10:36pm, August 7 2008