RETAIL in Ballarat appears to have dodged a bullet with the popular Harris Scarfe outlet at the corner of Dana and Doveton streets set to remain, despite a series of closures across the country.
It is understood the outlet will not be one of the three to close in Victoria after administrator Deloitte announced that a total of 21 shops across the country will be shut, costing more than 400 jobs.
Victorian retailers that have been earmarked for closure include Mildura and Bendigo in the country and the Box Hill store in the city.
The 170-year-old company's flagship store in Rundle Mall, Adelaide is among those set to close after the business was placed into receivership in December.
Following the closures, about half of Harris Scarfe's outlets will be located in Victoria as its Queensland footprint will shrink from eight to two and its New South Wales network from 13 to five.
Deloitte Restructuring Services partner Vaughan Strawbridge said the decision to close stores was difficult but necessary.
"This has been a difficult decision but one necessary to position the Harris Scarfe business for a successful sale and continued operation," he said.
"Our review of the store network included a range of factors, including 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.
"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."
Harris Scarfe's survival in this city will be a welcome boost to Ballarat retail which itself is going through a renaissance after the opening of a number of city retail stores.
Homewares business Provincial Home Living, located on the corner of Sturt and Armstrong streets, and women's fashion label Witchery, located in Central Square Shopping Centre on Armstrong Street, have opened their doors this year. Woman's clothing brand, Sportscraft, opened two weeks ago on Sturt Street in the City Centre Arcade.
Myer has also announced it has extended the lease of its store, at the corner of Sturt and Armstrong streets, with improvement works to start in the middle of next year.
Works include improvements to visual merchandising and lighting and flooring to be undertaken. Shoppers will be treated to the addition of new and exclusive brands.
And Big W in Alfred Square at this stage also appears set to remain open with the store not earmarked as one of the four likely to close this year in Victoria
The Bendigo Bank currently at the corner of Sturt and Doveton Street is expected to move across the road to the vacant former newsagent site at Block Arcade. Redevelopment works are currently underway at the site.
It is hoped a major national retail brand will be able to move into the soon-to-be vacant former bank site.
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