The cake shop chain Crostini closed down its stores for good on Wednesday, citing the pandemic.
In a social media post published on Tuesday night, the company said the business environment in Hong Kong has been bad over the past two years and it had no choice but to immediately close down.
“Many sectors have been greatly affected amid the pandemic… It is a pity that Crostini cannot turn things around and has no choice but to make a grave and disappointing decision,” it said.
The mid-market chain, which had about a dozen shops, apologised to and thanked its customers and staff.
In the comments section, some people complained that the shop closures came at too short notice, while others asked what could be done with vouchers bought from the company.
The Eating Establishment Employees General Union said at least one part-time worker of Crostini had yet to receive their salary for August and September.
The union said it believed around a hundred employees were affected as the company had not made payments in lieu of notice or severance payments.
It said it would collect information from workers and refer the matter to the Labour Department.
The Consumer Council said it had received 10 complaints regarding the closure of Crostini as of 5pm on Wednesday.
One of the complaints was from a customer with HK$2,000 in pre-paid coupons.
The council's chief executive, Gilly Wong, said customers who have pre-paid coupons should keep their receipts and those who bought them with a credit card should try to get a refund.
"You can immediately go to the bank to apply for a charge back... hopefully you can have the credit card issuer refund the amount to you based on its own policy," Wong told an online press briefing.
She added that customers who have lost out can also register as a debtor once the chain appoints a liquidator.
The Customs and Excise Department also expressed concern about the case.
Officers said consumers who bought cake coupons or gift vouchers from the bakery chain should contact them as soon as possible.
The department also said it will take enforcement action if it finds any violation of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.
Last updated: 2022-09-14 HKT 21:09