EMPLOYEES of a major Ballarat hardware store have been left devastated after discovering weeks out from Christmas that their jobs will be retrenched.
Dahlsens Building Centre has confirmed 24 permanent jobs will be made redundant from its Albert Street, Sebastopol branch.
The centre will also close its lifestyle offerings in the store to focus only on the trade market.
The Courier understands that most of the workers will be paid until January 25.
The branch will close on December 24 for remodelling and reopen on January 7 under the new business structure.
Branches at Albury and Traralgon will also be scaled back.
Dahlsens sales and marketing manager Fabrice Boucherat said increased competition in the DIY and retail market was a factor in the decision.