Expectant parents left out of pocket after Chesterfield baby store shuts without explanation

Scores of new mums and expectant parents have been left out of pocket after a Chesterfield baby store shut without explanation.

Monday, 25th April 2022, 3:38 pm

Giraffe Nursery Store on Chatsworth Road offered a wide range of baby products such as pushchairs and travel-systems, with customers often paying a deposit to secure their order and paying the full balance once their items arrived in store.

But the shop is believed to have closed its doors without notice in February, leaving hundreds of punters fearing they would not get their money back and would not get their hands on the goods they paid for.

The store’s Facebook account and website have also been closed down – and it is claimed that attempts to contact owner Georgina Carlile have been unsuccessful.

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Giraffe Nursery Store on Chatsworth Road has closed, leaving many customers out of pocket. The premises have since been taken over by a new company, Giraffe Nursery Store Ltd.

New business takes over premises

A new firm, called Giraffe Nursery Store Ltd, has since taken over the premises and denies any affiliation with Ms Carlile.

A spokesperson for the new limited company said: “We are a brand new business set up in March, as you will be aware from Companies House.

"We are operating from the same premises as the previous business. Other than that there is no link. We have new suppliers and accounts coming into the store and hoping to open over the next few weeks once the shop is redecorated, rebranded and the refurb is complete.

"The previous business and owner has zero association with us. Since closing her business down she has changed her contact details and moved on.

"We were led to believe that she contacted all previous customers to inform them and has told them to contact their card companies for refunds.

“The business has been on Chatsworth Road for around 30 years. The previous owner (Georgina Carlile) was incredibly successful pre-covid.

“We have chosen to keep a similar name, however over the next few weeks the entire building will be re-branded ready for the opening.”

Customers’ anguish

Christy Drabble, 27, from Bolsover, is set to give birth in five-weeks and is among those who fear they will never get their money back after forking out £850 in cash to Giraffe Nursery Store for a iCandy duo double pushchair and a car seat in January.

She said: “Georgina seemed really lovely, she was going out her way to try and make good deals like offering to put in a changing bag and parasol.

"She put the order in and said it’d be ready to collect and pay off the remaining balance, £550, at the beginning of April, that’s when I went to get in touch with her to see where things were at with the order.

"I found the Facebook page had been taken down and then came across the new owners Facebook page and I thought she’d just rebranded. I also tried ringing the mobile number of the order receipt but she didn’t answer.

"The new owner got back in touch and said she knew nothing about the old customers or their orders.”

After contacting iCandy directly, it was found that Christy’s order had been placed back in January – however no money had been paid and therefore it was put on hold or cancelled by the pushchair firm.

“It’s just the lack of communication and not having the decency to get in touch with people and explain the situation and apologise,” Christy added. "I think people might be a bit more understanding then.”

Claire Mulhall, 40, from Clay Cross, also visited Giraffe Nursery Store in January and had paid £500 – money which she has since been able to claim back through her bank.

She said: "Georgina seemed really helpful and we put a deposit down for an Egg travel system. She emailed the confirmation and said she would get it to come into store towards the end of March.

"She said you’ll not hear from me now until the end of March when it should be in. It was the end of March when I found out… I was browsing on social media and something sparked me to look at Giraffe, so I typed them in on Facebook and it just said account not available.

"I just had a sinking feeling. Someone had posted in a group about Giraffe and there were loads of comments. Lots of people were waiting and had paid in full as well.

"I responded to the email which we got our invoice from, I tried calling the shop and we actually went onto Chatsworth Road and there was a sign on the door saying it had changed ownership.

"We had no idea what was going on. I was really upset at the time because it’s just common courtesy to let people know, even if it is really a bad news email that people aren’t going to want to read.

"To be like that, with pregnant women as well, it’s just disgusting.”

Leah Dutton, 24, from Birdholme, is in a similar position and counts herself among the lucky few who have been able to claim their money back after paying an £125 card deposit to Giraffe Nursery Store for a pram converter kit.

She said: “I first went to her in 2020 when I had my first son and we ordered the iCandy peach from her, all that went smoothly. I paid it in three instalments and she kept me up-to-date with everything.

"When I found out I was pregnant again last year, I went back to her because the pushchair I’ve got, you can make it into a double.”

Leah says she paid the deposit on January 29 and was told to await further contact when the item was delivered to store.

However, four weeks before her due date on March 30, the mum-of-two still hadn’t heard anything so visited Chatsworth Road to discover Giraffe Nursery Store was closed and post was piled on the door mat inside.

She then later tried to contact Georgina, upon which she learned that store’s social media pages had been taken down.

Leah, who ended up placing an order with a different company, added: “I rang my bank straight away and they opened a claim against it.

"I did get my money back but I was really panicky and getting quite stressed that I wasn’t going to have a pushchair or anything for my son to come home.

"I heard a lot of stories of people paying cash and it’s made me not even want to pay cash for anything, especially large sums of money. It’s quite scary.”

There is no information held on Companies House for the former business, Giraffe Nursery Store, which says it is ‘permanently closed’ according to Google.

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