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Harris Scarfe closing 21 stores

Almost one month after appointing voluntary administrators, department store Harris Scarfe has said 21 of its stores will close over the next four weeks, affecting 88 full-time, 128 part-time, and 224 casual employees.

According to voluntary administrators Deloitte Restructuring Services, 1380 positions will remain at the 44 stores that continue to trade. The closures will position the business for a successful sale and continued operation, said receiver and Deloitte restructuring services partner Vaughn Strawbridge.

“We have continued to trade the business since our appointment, and this has been well supported by local employees and customers, so this has been a difficult decision,” said 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.”

The closures are made up of 2 stores in Western Australia, 6 in Queensland, 8 in New South Wales, 3 in Victoria, 1 in South Australia and the ACT, and were decided by determining 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,” Strawbridge said.

The business was purchased in December by private equity firm Allegro Funds, as part of former owner Greenlit brands’ divestment of its general merchandise division, including the Best & Less, Debenhams and Postie chains.

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