21 Harris Scarfe stores to close nationwide

6 January 2020, Written by Business News Australia

21 Harris Scarfe stores to close nationwide

In the lead up to Christmas Australia suffered yet another retail casualty with legacy department store Harris Scarfe announcing that it had fallen into receivership.

Today the receivers have revealed the body count of the store's fumble, with 21 stores located around the country to close over the next four weeks.

The receivers, Deloitte, told employees their fate this morning. Those lucky enough to be working for one of the 44 stores that will remain open (five more than the receivers initially anticipated) will be counting their blessings this evening.

The same cannot be said for the employees of the 21 stores that are closing, with two in WA, six in Queensland, three in Victoria, one in SA and one in the ACT to close ASAP.

Around 88 full-time, 128-part time and 224 casual positions have been affected by the closures. Around 1,380 jobs remain at the 44 stores that will continue to trade.

Deloitte Restructuring Services partner Vaughan Strawbridge says the decision to close the 21 stores was not made lightly.

"We have continued to trade the business since our appointment, and this has been well supported by loyal employees and customers, so this has been a difficult decision, but one necessary to position the Harris Scarfe business for a successful sale and continued operation," says Strawbridge.

"All efforts are being made to redeploy affected staff around the rest of the store network, and all staff that leave the business will receive all wages and entitlements in full on the closure of individual stores."

"Our review of the store network included a range of factors, including past and likely future profitability."

"Going forward, we certainly remain focused on running the broader store network, and selling the business as the best outcome for remaining employees and suppliers."

Harris Scarfe fell into receivership on 11 December 2019, despite its nation-leading customer satisfaction rating and annual sales of $380 million.

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