My Fabulous Life

Please Mum Files for Bankruptcy – Gift Cards No Longer Honored

Please Mum  Bankruptcy

Please Mum, a well known Canadian children’s clothing retailer, announced last week that they are filing for bankruptcy.  They’re reducing their locations to 21 total and no doubt the rest of the locations will close in time.  While this may seem like a spectacular time to grab some last minute deals (surprise, they are still offering clothing for sale on the website), the company gets a big thumbs down from me because they are refusing to honor VIP program points and will not honor gift cards.

Yes, that’s right, if you got a gift card as a gift or returned merchandise to the store and got a credit in the form of a gift card, you are out that money due to the bankruptcy claim.

Thankfully, I don’t have any gift cards from them but I have friends and readers who do and I feel your frustration.  If the cards were purchased using a credit card, it may offer you some protection (debates online continue) but it’s worth a try to see.  Either way, the company has your money and you don’t have merchandise in exchange.

I’m a frugal mom and love a good deal but I refuse to shop at Please Mum for these last minute deals, giving them my money, when others have already given the company money in return for gift cards and are left empty handed.

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  • Well that ticks me right off! I have thought their prices to be too high to begin with and now I can’t even use a gift card I have been saving for the perfect opportunity! Grrrr!

    • Unfortunately it sounds like it is. People could file a claim in court like any other creditor but it’s at the bottom of the pecking order of claims.

  • i think its a much worse thing how they treated their employees. absolutely no notice, no severance, and no vacation pay, 70 stores worth of people on their ass.

    • Very true, hopefully they can file for unemployment? Still, I bet there are paycheques owing…while they continue to keep stores and their online site open.

    • Yep. I was one of them!! Not even 24 hrs notice that I lost my job. No compensation of any sort. Thank god, I was only p/t. I coulnt imagine how it would have affected me if I was still managing the store. But it’s def been hard with only 1 income and 2 small kids 🙁

  • I never cared for that store anyway. I browsed a few times but the clothing seemed cheap and just not to our tastes. After hearing this, I am glad I never gave them our business.

  • Never cared for the store and don’t care that it’s closing. BUT I’d be absolutely pissed if I had a gift card and couldn’t use it! That’s why I always use my GCs right away! Because I’m always thinking that something like this might happen.

  • That’s horrible. Even more horrible how they treated the employees from the above comment. People who do these things are selfish people who only look out for themselves. Karma is a wonderful thing.

  • No wonder I saw the store closed down when I was at the mall the other day. I thought they were doing renovations. Oh sucks. I don’t shop there very often, but I occasionally browse for sales and see if anything useful.

  • As a former please mum employee I have to say we were let down by a company who “claimed” to be a family company who valued their employees and customers.

    I personally found out at 10pm Sunday night that the following morning my shift would consist of the store closing and the people who showed up packing up the store for closure. I was given less than 12 hours notice of my new found unemployment.

    The following day, once we had been working all day to complete the closure, we were notified that we would not be receiving our vacation or severance pay.

    I would just like to personally thank my team for all their hard work and dedication and say how truly sorry I am that we found a company in whom we trusted and were sadly betrayed. I would also like to thank “No Thanks to You Mum”, as some of my friends are now calling it, for their lack of respect and their total disregard for how their decisions have affected peoples lives!

    • You are kidding me!! I am so sorry that happened to you – thank you for sharing your story here.

      I am annoyed how this has not hit the news stream. Previous customers need to know that the stores are shutting down, claiming bankruptcy, and not paying out their employees. =(

      Tell your friends, word of mouth is a huge tool for change.

    • Wow… I wish I was shocked by your story, but sadly I’m not. This type of thing happens far, far too frequently. I can’t stand it when this happens to people and I’m truly very sorry it happened to you. There needs to be requirements in place to inform employees of a store closing in advance, giving them a fair chance to find a new job and something in place to compensate them for their time. The fact that you showed up and aren’t getting paid is just wrong.

    • This does not surprise me in the least. I too am a former employee of Please Mum about a year ago after 6 yrs of working for them free time and all they started cutting back staff and lket me go with no warning. I had always been paraised for my work and then bam…This is how they work …thank god I won the dispute to get EI but it took a while.

  • The gift cards are still being offered in our local grocery store to buy!! I will have to let them know to take them off the shelves!

  • Here’s an update…

    I woke up this morning and went online to apply for a couple of jobs. My phone rang and it was one of the other girls from the store. She asked me to check my banking cause she hadn’t gotten payed for her last 2 weeks in which they told us to expect today.

    Guess what… NO PAY!! A full 2 weeks of pay due today with a promise that I would be there. HR will not answer their phones either.

    I had a gut feeling last night so I smartly went and moved money from one account to another to cover my car payment and insurance payments, which both came out today. If I hadn’t saved a bit of money I would not have been able to do this and much like Please mum, my credit would have been affected.

    Just another hit from these people

  • I am so mad at the moment, to Tall Girl, I also was a former employee of please mum, and my store was one of the stores that stayed open, and they still laid me off. I advise no one to shop there, I hope the company goes down in flames. That is terrible that you did not get paid today, I am heading to the bank as we speak to check if I got my paycheque! Ugh this is all so frustrating.

  • OH WOW! The last line on the Please Mum employee page is new, and very sad-

    “For those looking for new job opportunities, *edited* has listings across Canada for many different positions: www.*edited*.com”

    I wrote a post about this too- it is so despicable that they are treating their former staff like this! The gift card issue is one thing- but there is no way a company should ever do this to 700+ staff. Shameful. I won’t be adding any more clothes to our Please Mum collection. “No Ma’am to Please Mum”

  • Yes, Same thing at our store in Whitehorse , Yukon. Phone call from the manager at 10pm sunday night telling us we had to all be in work tomorrow and fully pack the store. They only wanted the product and tills back. They got us to toss all manikins, hanger, etc. None of us have been paid and I have spoken with Miranda in HR and employee’s who bank through RBC are supposed to be paid today, other banks such as TD, BMO, Scotia, CIBC, Etc will be getting paid “by” monday which could mean today, saturday, sunday, or even monday if we do even get paid ….

  • Well…

    Now Monday has come and my pay still hasn’t been deposited. I bank with PC which is a division of CIBC. They are always a little late in processing my pays, it usually goes in my account around 6am, but I always get it the day it’s promised.

    I have absolutely no faith in this company and their false promises! I called HR numerous times on Friday in hopes to get answers and never got a call back. They have a total disregard for the people who worked for them and what bothers me even more is they have chosen to hide from us instead of being forthcoming and give us answers. This whole situation would probably be a whole lot less of a mess if they only chose to keep us informed and educated as what is going on. I personally find it disgusting that they choose to, instead of giving us answers, put this info on their web page after the fact.

    For the people who are still employed with this “Mickey mouse” organization, I give you some advise…

    GET OUT NOW!!! You’re next!!

  • This is so sad for all the employees working and then getting no pay. It burns me that they quit honoring gift cards even though they are still selling merchandise. My daughter had a $100.00 giftcard I had given her and it is now a useless gift as it was not paid for with a credit card.
    I bet those at the top got their pay cheque before they filed for bankruptcy and are living comfortably while hardworking people who rely on getting their cheque are left in the lurch. All those hard working employees got nada.
    I hope no one takes advantage of the deals.

  • Gotta love this line on their website info about the company

    “The integrity of our company rests upon the fair and equitable treatment of each employee”

    Really? My mom has purchased most of our kids clothes there. I stopped shopping there this last year or so as I really didn’t think the earlier quality was there anymore.

    Very sad it happened to a Canadian company -but even sadder at how the employees have been treated. Too bad they didn’t share when things started to go wrong. The employees might have been able to help them save the company – and their own jobs.

    (shaking my head) just wrong…

    • Oh wow, nice line on the site about the employees. I really hope they can make it right and pay out their employees. I’m sad too that this is a Canadian company that tanked. I was really proud to have our own clothing line here in Canada that was hugely successful. Up until now.

  • Just to let all pleasemum employees affected by the closures that they are not eligible for WEPP and should contact the employment standards branch in their province and file a formal complaint in regards to your lost severance and vacation pay. Pleasemum plans on including us in their proposal which means that we will not get what is rightfully owed to us.

  • I think that’ the only way employees will be paid is if people buy things from the existing stores and on-line. I think our bankruptcy laws require the people owed the most to be paid first….and it gets taken out of the hands of the store owner…so people who say not to buy are not hurting Please Mum… They are hurting everyone that please mum owes.

  • I worked for Please Mum for a period of time. I had the unfortunate opportunity to meet the owner. Her and her sister, came to the store, with the district manager who was her cousin….ya that’s right, keep it in the family. The owner was not what you’d expect. She was very messy looking and had poor personal hygene….blah! What a rude and nasty woman she was! I’m oh so very happy that some of the regular customers were in the store that very evening….they vowed right then and there to spend their money elsewhere after getting a taste for the way Katherine treated her staff. I’m sure if any one of us dropped to the floor in front of her, she would simply kick us to the side and keep going. Business was not what Katherine wanted and her comment was…..this store used to be my bread and butter, now it is just shit in my bed!…..WOW how professional! I suppose what comes around goes around. She should learn that a persons conduct goes a long way.

  • I have an interview with please mum this week, and just found these comments. Is it still that bad? Should I avoid working with them?????

  • Simple figure out what is on your gift card and go swipe it at the store, what goes around comes around…