Harris Scarfe to close 21 stores nationally

The collapse of Harris Scarfe has caught retail landlords off guard Picture: AAP
The collapse of Harris Scarfe has caught retail landlords off guard Picture: AAP

National retailer Harris Scarfe will shut more than 20 stores across Australia after the company was placed in receivership.

The department store chain, which has 66 stores nationally, will close 21 of those stores over the next four weeks while attempting to sell the business.

The remaining stores will stay open and continue trading.

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Among the closures is the chain’s flagship Rundle Mall store in Adelaide, while other outlets will shut in Western Australia, Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Harris Scarfe was founded in Adelaide 170 years ago and was previously saved from bankruptcy in 2001.

In the ensuing years it has been sold four times.

Administrator Vaughan Strawbridge from Deloitte Restructuring Services says it is hoped that jobs can be saved.

“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,” Strawbridge says.

“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.”

The Australian reported in December that landlords were scrambling to fill the void that would be left by the impending closure of some stores, with Scentre Group, Stockland, Vicinity and Lendlease caught up in the closures.