Landmark stores to close due to tough competition
COMPETITION forced the closure of Landmark rural stores at Lismore and Wardell according to company's regional general manager.
South Queensland general manager Damon Ferguson visited the Lismore store today following Monday's announcement that will see 10 staff lose their jobs.
"When we came into the business there needed to be change," he said.
"We invested a lot of money in training, infrastructure and capital works to improve the business.
"Now we've got to a point where we've tried really hard to make the business viable but at some point we had to draw a line in the sand.
"It came to the point where we decided it was financially sustainable...in reality we couldn't continue into the future in this market."
The emergence of McGregor Gourley on the Northern Rivers, plus Masters and Bunnings saw retail trade drop.
"18 months ago McGregor Gourley came to town and set up in opposition, taking more than five of our staff," Mr Ferguson said.
"Competition in a number of market segments has had an impact on the business. Landmark bought the former Rural Buying Service Lismore and Wardell stores four years ago.
"We also had to work through the legacy issues inherited from the previous business," Mr Ferguson said.
The future of both sites is still undecided, Mr Ferguson said.
"Both sites have been long standing retail sites that will attract interest from similar industries.
"We understand the Wardell site is an essential facility that services local cane and macadamia nut growers.
"Landmark is hopeful that the Wardell store can continue to operate to service local growers by another provider in the market."
Entitlements to be paid
Mr Ferguson said all employees will receive a redundancy payout and their full entitlements.
"One-on-one meetings have been offered to staff next week to help assist them through the reemployment process," he said.
The Landmark stores will close tomorrow.