Fantastic Holdings to close Adelaide icon

LeCornuFantastic Holdings is closing Adelaide’s iconic Le Cornu furniture business as part of a strategy to focus on its core brands.

The group operates under its core Fantastic Furniture and Plush brands throughout South Australia, while the Le Cornu site in Keswick has been for sale since 2015 with potential buyers understood to be considering various redevelopment options.

As a consequence of the potential disruption caused by redevelopment, the furniture retailer has decided to close the Le Cornu store over the next six months with the likely loss of about 70 jobs.

The company says it hopes to redeploy about 25 of its current staff of 95 at the Keswick site.

“Fantastic Holdings is committed to its strategy of investing in strong furniture brands and we believe that winding down the Le Cornu brand in Adelaide and investing further in our core brands in South Australia is the right strategic choice,” said Debra Singh, group CEO retail.

“It will enable us to best deliver a long term platform for growth that will be positive for our customers, our people and shareholders.”

The group said the Le Cornu business has been profitable over the last few years, though trading has deteriorated in fiscal year 2016, incurring trading losses of roughly $4 million.

As a consequence of the changes, the group will incur a one off charge of $9.1 million.


* 1861: Phillip Joshua Le Cornu establishes a cabinet making business in Adelaide.

* 1885: The factory is largely destroyed by fire. It reopens in a former church in North Adelaide.

* 1921: Phillip Joshua Le Cornu dies aged 85 with the company now in the hands of his son Phillip.

* 1924: The company expands its operates to supply wholesale furniture statewide. It employs 25 people.

* 1927: Another fire destroys the factory.

* 1954: Le Cornu begins first direct sales to the public.

* 1967: The company expands its retail operations in North Adelaide where it installs its famous 40 metre long window of curved glass, the longest in the southern hemisphere at the time.

* 1974: Le Cornu buys the old Chrysler car assembly plant at Keswick to expand its operations.

* 1989: Le Cornu closes down its North Adelaide store.

* 2008: Fantastic Holdings buys Le Cornu for $1.3 million.

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