Marketing manager for Harris Scarfe Chris Kontos inside the new Harris Scarfe department store at Rundle Place, Rundle Mall, Adelaide during preperations for its grand opening.
Marketing manager for Harris Scarfe Chris Kontos inside the new Harris Scarfe department store at Rundle Place, Rundle Mall, Adelaide during preperations for its grand opening.

Harris Scarfe placed into voluntary administration

HARRIS Scarfe, has been placed in voluntary administration, ending a horror year for the nation's retailers.

The 170-year old business, which started as a hardware business in Adelaide in 1849, will continue to trade through Christmas while the administrators, Deloitte, assess the future for the department store chain.

The $380 million chain has nine stores in South Australia and locations in Victoria and Tasmania, employing more than 1800 staff across the country.

Trading will continue as normal over the Christmas period and employees will be paid by the receivers, says the appointed administrators Deloitte Restructuring Services (DRS).

"Harris Scarfe is a longstanding retail institution," DRS partner Vaughan Strawbridge said.

"We will be making every effort to secure a future for the business and intend to commence an immediate sale of business process."

The department store chain sells a wide variety of products, including bed linen, kitchenware, homewares, electrical appliances, and apparel across 66 stores.

In January, Adelaide-based menswear retailer Ed Harry went into voluntary administration and closed the next month.

Also in January, Aussie sportswear favourite Skins revealed it was on the brink of failure after applying for bankruptcy in a Swiss court.

At the end of the month, the Napoleon Perdis beauty empire announced the cult make-up chain's 56 Aussie stores had closed for stocktake. Administrators were appointed, and scores of stores have since collapsed.

Footwear trailblazer Shoes of Prey also met its demise in March this year, along with British fashion giant Karen Millen, which in September revealed it would soon shut all Aussie stores, leaving around 80 jobs in peril.


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