Closure of stores in Landmark decision
ANOTHER 10 Northern Rivers locals will soon be looking for new jobs after Landmark announced it is closing its Lismore and Wardell rural stores on Monday.
The announcement came two months to the day after Mills Transport revealed it was closing offices in Lismore, Sydney, Brisbane and Murwillumbah, Harwood and Coffs Harbour, which left more than 100 staff unemployed.
News of Landmark's decision to close its stores was confirmed on the same day Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan held a regional strategy meeting to attract businesses and employment to the Northern Rivers.
Meeting with staff
Landmark Lismore manager Alex Smith said he was told by regional general manager Damon Ferguson he would be visiting the Lismore store to meet with staff three weeks ago.
"I sat down with all the staff and I said I don't know the answer, we'll see what happens," he said.
"Had I not indicated closing may be an option I think the announcement would have came as a big surprise to staff.
"They're sad; they're sad to lose their livelihood that they have been coming to for many years, but they do understand at the end of the day that businesses sometimes make hard decisions."
Four years ago Landmark bought out the Rural Buying Service, which was under administration, Mr Smith said.
"Over the past few years Landmark has poured a considerable amount of money into the business, but the competition has gotten tougher and tougher," he said.
"With about 450 stores across the country the company has got to be careful about how much they invest and when it's time to cut its losses.
"With Masters and Bunnings opening and with other new rural retailers entering the market, I think Landmark has looked at its priorities."
Full entitlements for staff
The longest serving employee had worked since they were a teenager, more than 20-years.
"All employees will get their full entitlements, full redundancy; there's no quibbling over as far as what they're entitled to," Mr Smith said.
"We had a team of people come in who have also offered counselling and job placement services, which Landmark is paying for."
"Landmark has on its website available positions in its other stores and I know some of the guys thought about it.
"But are they going to move from Lismore to Katherine in the Northern Territory or Dubbo?
"I don't think so."
The Landmark rural stores will cease trading in a month.