FitzGerald's Department Stores

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Present day Harris Scarfe store in Hobart, Tasmania; formerly FitzGerald's Department Store, with original lettering still visible.

FitzGerald's Department Stores was Tasmania's largest chain of department stores.

The chain was rebadged and relaunched as Harris Scarfe in 1995, and the renamed stores continue to trade today.

History[edit]

FitzGerald's was a Tasmanian majority family owned department store business until it was acquired by Charles Davis Limited in 1981.

It was by far the largest Tasmanian department store retailer, with a substantial flagship store in Hobart with frontages to Collins Street, Murray Street and Elizabeth Street.

FitzGerald's also had substantial stores in Launceston and Burnie (occupying the site of a former theatre), as well as stores in suburban Hobart (Eastlands and Moonah) and a small (600 square metre) store in New Norfolk (occupying a general store built in 1914).

When the Venture chain of department stores collapsed in 1994, FitzGerald's acquired and rebadged the Venture stores at Devonport and Ulverstone.

Briefly, between 1993–1995, FitzGerald's operated a store at Forest Hill in suburban Melbourne. This became Harris Scarfe, and is now a Myer.

In 1995, after incurring annual trading losses exceeding $2 million, the FitzGerald's chain was merged with Charles Davis' Harris Scarfe department store chain, with all of the stores being brought under Harris Scarfe management and rebadged as "Harris Scarfe".

The stores continue to operate under the Harris Scarfe banner, with the exception of the New Norfolk branch which closed in 2000 and Eastlands (circa 2002), while the Hobart store has been substantially reduced back to its original Collins St frontage only.

References[edit]

  • Charles Davis Limited 1995 Annual Report