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Tasmanian small Coogans to close its doors after more than 100 years


March 12, 2019 19:37:17

The prominent Tasmanian vendor Coogans should close the doors by the end of June, marking the end of the chain that has been the Tasmanian institution for more than a century.

Key points:

  • Thirty-five Coogans workers should be offered redundancy, and the last store closes at the end of June
  • Coogans is remembered for the furniture he used to manufacture and sell in nearly 150 years of operation
  • The Tasmans are called to buy local or face the loss of more local traders

The family business told its workers Tuesday that it plans to close its operations on Menaeh on June 30 after closing its shop in Hobart in January.

Founder William Kogan opened his first furniture factory on Brisbane Street in Launceston in 1884 and was one of the first Australian businesses to offer payment plans for clients.

It is the latest iconic name in a series of local Tasmanian brands that closed the store amid growing online shopping.

The Association of Stores, Distributors and Allies of Employees said it had collaborated with members of the membership, as the possible closures were marked at the end of 2018.

Company John McClale has confirmed that 35 employees will be offered redundancy, but the credit arm will continue.

Secretary General Paul Griffin said that it is not exactly what exactly employees will receive.

"The business looked at some transformations about where they might be in the future, but we did not expect it to be close to what we found today," he said.

"Unfortunately, they are imprisoned, but they have made their decision and we must do the best we can for what we can do for our members in the meantime."

Greetings from another Tasmanian institution

The longtime business owner, Edward Harry, has been in charge of the men's clothing store Les Lees for 40 years.

He said it was unfortunate that such an icon would no longer be on the market.

"It's a big surprise, Coogans has long been an institution in this city," he said.

"It's just an iconic … and [it has] produced some wonderful furniture over the years, and was old.

"It's very sad to hear about this, but I suppose the industry is extremely competitive, especially furniture and electricity."

"Consumers Must See Local"

Executive Director of the Australian Retail Association, Russell Zimmerman, said the shutdown was disappointing due to Tasmania's strong economic growth in recent years, but it is not surprising given the changes in the sector.

"If you look at the retail figures in Tasmania, the last four or five years have kept up really well, and even in the last few months they are still very strong," he said.

"At present, there is a difficult economic environment in Australia in many ways, so when I think about it in an overall context, this is not surprising.

"In the last four or five years, we have seen a decline in family-run businesses.

"In some cases we have seen people come to a point where they say:" Look, this is too difficult. ""

He accused the fall of family businesses for falling profit margins, due to increased costs and increased consumer demand for cheap goods.

"I think one of the big problems in retailing is that the price becomes a very dominant force," he said.

"Consumers must look local, not global, and remember that it's okay to buy abroad and save money, but if we continue to … we will lose retailers in Australia.

"It means work, which means fewer people are employed."


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First published

March 12, 2019 19:20:53

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