Harris Scarfe’s iconic Rundle Mall store will close next month, according to the retail union.
The store has been trading for an incredible 170 years but looks as though it will close its doors for the final time in February.
The Advertiser is reporting that none of Harris Scarfe’s other eight stores across Adelaide are set to be closed at this stage. They are in Arndale, Gepps Cross, Kilkenny, Tea Tree Plaza, Oaklands Park, West Lakes, Elizabeth and Noarlunga.
Harris Scarfe, which was purchased last year by Australian private equity firm Allegro Funds (from a South African owner), was placed into receivership last month.
SDA – the union for retail workers – said in a statement it was “deeply saddened” by the announcement.
“Let there be no mistake, the events of today are built on the decisions of the past,” SDA secretary Josh Peak said.
“This closure is the result of poor decision making that has driven its flagship store into an unprofitable position over the past 15 years.
“It is clear now the redevelopment of the site has been an unmitigated disaster for Harris Scarfe.
“Unfortunately, the ones who have to pay the price for these poor decisions are not the decision makers, but the retail employees – and the families they support – who will find themselves out of a job this year.
“Harris Scarfe Rundle Mall has provided work for countless South Australians over 170 years and this is a huge loss for our state.
“While the previous owners and private equity firms have questions to answer, we must address the issues in our national economy.
“Retail figures at their worst levels of the past 30 years. Our Federal Government is asleep at the wheel and needs to stop pursuing policies that hurt our retail sector and start focusing on ones that help it or else more companies will suffer.
“The SDA’s top priority is to ensure that all entitlements are honoured and paid out to all employees who will be out of a job next month.”
Harris Scarfe was founded on Hindley St in 1849, then moved to Grenfell St in 1877.
After the Rundle Mall store was demolished, the new current store reopened in Rundle Plaza in 2013.