LESS than two years after being saved with a “miracle” reversal, Warrnambool’s Sam’s Warehouse store will close its doors at the end of July.
Signs announcing a closing down sale went up around the store in the Bayside City Plaza this week.
It’s believed about 25 people will be out of work when the store closes “about July 30”. Yesterday, a steady stream of customers were browsing the already depleted shelves — some commenting on the closing down signage saying it was a shock.
A spokeswoman for parent company Discount Superstores Group (DSG) said it would not be making comment about the impending closure.
It’s believed the closure isn’t related to receivership or administration, but rather the company has decided to pull out of Victoria, with all Sam’s Warehouses stores across the state also said to be closing.
The store was facing closure in October 2012 when owner Retail Adventures was placed into voluntary administration.
Two weeks later the store was saved, after landlords renegotiated with the administrators to secure a lease.
At the time the reversal was hailed as a miracle and “the best retail news in Warrnambool”.
Bayside City Plaza manager David Turner said he had yet to be officially notified of the plans to close the store yesterday.
“As landlords, we haven’t heard anything from the company officially,” he told The Standard.
“I became aware signage was in store yesterday (Thursday).
“It’s disappointing, heartbreaking actually. We worked hard to secure the lease and to secure the jobs and I understand the Warrnambool store trades really well.”
Mr Turner said DSG has four years remaining on the lease for the 2400-square-metre store.
He said they expected the lease to be honoured.
“It’s a legally binding contract, you can’t just make decisions to pull out,” he said. “They have four years to run and we expect them to honour those commitments.”