The Straits Times
Published on Sep 03, 2012

Australian chocolate retailer Darrell Lea shuts stores


SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian chocolate retailer Darrell Lea said on Monday it would close all its shops and only sell products through licensed outlets, with the loss of more than 400 jobs.

The confectionery firm, a popular local brand established in 1927, will stay in Australian hands after being sold by administrators to the Quinn family, which has a long history of food manufacturing and distribution.

"Their experience will help Darrell Lea to continue to operate as an iconic Australian manufacturing company with a strong brand presence," Darrell Lea administrators PPB Advisory said in a statement.

As part of the sale agreement PPB said the firm's remaining 27 branded stores would close, effective on Sunday, after running at a loss for a number of years and failing to attract "any meaningful interest" from buyers. Some 246 permanent and 172 casual staff will be axed. Another 32 shops were closed earlier this year.