Harris Scarfe signage is seen in Rundle Mall, Adelaide, Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Historic department store chain Harris Scarfe has gone into receivership. (AAP Image/Kelly Barnes) NO ARCHIVING
Harris Scarfe signage is seen in Rundle Mall, Adelaide, Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Historic department store chain Harris Scarfe has gone into receivership. (AAP Image/Kelly Barnes) NO ARCHIVING

Why losing Harris Scarfe is such a blow to regional towns

THE impending closure of Hervey Bay’s Harris Scarfe store may not be a surprise but it is a shame.

The store has always been an odd fit and, perhaps, a tough sell.

Not quite a cheap and cheerful budget retailer, not quite a high-end department store, it’s a hard one to define.

What it has always done well, though, is add something unique and valuable to regional towns throughout Australia.

Despite their cult following and viral online popularity, budget stores like Kmart, Target and Big W will never match the quality of more expensive options.

Their unbelievably cheap products don’t last as long as pricier options, contributing to our throwaway culture.

Beyond that, the closure of Harris Scarfe in six regional towns throughout Queensland further takes away from the options available in these communities.

It seems whenever a store closes, it’s replaced by a big, budget chain franchise.

We get it – the budget stores make a lot of money and employ a lot of staff.

They’re easy wins in regional towns.

But do we really want to live in a community driven entirely by discount shops and petrol stations?

Fraser Coast towns will never sustain a Myer or David Jones and it’s such a shame they can’t support a Harris Scarfe, either.

There is nothing wrong with big discount stores but a little variety can’t hurt.