Creditors including Nike, Reebok, Converse, SA Clothing Industries, Eddels Shoes, and Springfield Footwear have filed claims in excess of R1 billion against Retail Apparel Group, the holding company for several clothing, footwear and accessories chains that was placed in provisional liquidation on 28 May.

The proceedings have also been marred by allegations of underhanded dealings, with some creditors believed to be planning an investigation of the company under the Insolvency Act. Smaller creditors also fear their interests will be squeezed in preference to major groups.

More than 1500 employees represented by the Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union have already applied for a court order to have their liquidator's appointment switched from Retail Apparel Group to Retail Apparel (Pty) Ltd, which holds the group's assets, estimated at R1.18 billion.

Retail Apparel Group has already closed 50 stores countrywide, including Patrick Daniel and Smart Centre.