Harris Scarfe

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Harris Scarfe
Retail, eCommerce
Founded1849, Adelaide, South Australia
FoundersGeorge Peter Harris and John C. Lanyon
Number of locations
68 stores (Jan, 2018)
ProductsBed linen, homewares, kitchenware, manchester, electrical goods, kitchen appliances, womens and mens apparel, intimates, footwear and luggage
OwnerGreenlit Brands [1]
Number of employees

Harris Scarfe is an Australian retailer that sells bed linen, kitchenware, homewares, electrical appliances, and apparel. It is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. It has a growing e-commerce retail presence in Australia and is considered a multi-channel department store retailer.

Founded in 1849, Harris Scarfe operates 70 retail stores nationally in two formats including "Harris Scarfe" department stores and "Harris Scarfe Home" homewares and kitchenware stores.


Early History

Harris Scarfe traces its history to 10 February 1849, when the founding partners, George Peter Harris and John C. Lanyon, arrived in Adelaide South Australia on the ship, "Candahar", to establish a hardware and ironmongery business. Lanyon left the partnership on 22 February 1855 and returned to London, where he subsequently opened up a buying house for Geo. P Harris and other businesses in South Australia. Additional partners, George Scarfe and Richard Smith, joined the business in 1866 and the business name "Geo. P. Harris, Scarfe & Co." was adopted in December that year.[2]

Harris Scarfe grew to become a major supplier of a broad range of household, agricultural and industrial items. Besides conducting its retailing businesses, Harris Scarfe manufactured leather goods, including saddlery and luggage, as part of a wholesaling operation. Notably, during World War II, when the Australian Government enforced price controls, it used the Harris Scarfe catalogue as the price guide.

1970s - 1980s

In 1971, Baradeen Quest Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Investment and Merchant Finance Corporation Limited ("IMFC") made a successful takeover bid for Harris Scarfe Limited, which was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange at the time.

Charles Davis Limited, a listed Tasmanian company controlled by Sir Donald Trescowthick, acquired control of Harris Scarfe in 1976. Trescowthick focussed Harris Scarfe's activities on its retailing business, developing a full line department store model, while the industrial products outlet at Mile End evolved to become Harry's, a large hardware retailing business.

The success of Harry's led Harris Scarfe's parent company, Charles Davis Limited, to acquire other hardware retailers, including Lloyd's in South Australia, Campbell's in Queensland, and McEwans in Victoria and New South Wales. In 1989, these hardware businesses were sold in a management buyout, and acquired by Bunnings in 1993.


In the 1990s, Harris Scarfe entered an era of unprecedented national growth. It expanded beyond its large department store in Rundle Mall into smaller format suburban and regional shopping stores. Harris Scarfe also acquired full-line department store sites from other retailers who were rationalising their store networks including David Jones, Myer, John Martins, Stirling and Centre Fair. By 1995, Harris Scarfe had become Australia's third largest department store retailer, with 38 stores, and trading in all states of Australia.


In 2002, the company started a revitalisation program. The store network was remodelled with new products, layouts and new branding. As a result, Harris Scarfe soon began to enjoy record growth. By 2007, Sydney-based Momentum Private Equity acquired an $80 million majority stake in the company. During 2012, Momentum Corporate ten sold the business to Pepkor, a South African private equity firm.

As of 2014, Greenlit Brands[3], formerly Steinhoff, acquired Pepkor and this included Harris Scarfe. Harris Scarfe has been owned by Greenlit Brands [4] since this time. [5]

In October 2013, Harris Scarfe officially launched Simply Vera[6], by Vera Wang which is designed by Vera Wang who is based in New York City. The collection comprises a range of contemporary women's fashion, accessories, bed and bath collections and home fragrances.

In 2017, Harris Scarfe also collaborated with Shayna Blaze[7], an interior designer from The Block on bed linens, homewares, accessories and apparel.

During April 2018, they launched a new collection with Jamie Durie, TV personality The Outdoor Room named Jamie Durie by Ardor [8] which is a casual bed linen product range.

Store Formats[edit]

Harris Scarfe department stores sell a full range of bed linen, homewares, cookware, manchester, apparel, electrical appliances, kitchen appliances, menswear, womenswear, intimates, sportswear, travel and outdoor.

Harris Scarfe Home stores sell homewares including bed linen, homewares, cookware, kitchen appliances, electrical goods, personal care and bathroom electricals.

Product Categories[edit]

Harris Scarfe stores sell the following products:

  • Bed Linen & Manchester – bedding, linen, towels, manchester, pillows, decorative cushions
  • Homewares – crockery, cutlery, glassware, food preparation
  • Kitchenware and Cookware – cook sets, fry pans, cast iron
  • Personal Care & Bathroom Electrical – hairdryers, shavers
  • Kitchen Appliances – kettles, toasters, food processors, blenders
  • Electrical Appliances - heaters, fans, cookers, grills, toasters
  • Clothing and Apparel - womenswear, menswear
  • Travel – luggage, accessories

Exclusive brands[edit]

Simply Vera – Vera Wang[edit]

In October 2013, Harris Scarfe were officially launched[9] as the only Australian retailer allowed to sell the Simply Vera range [10] designed by Vera Wang who is based in New York City. The collection comprises a range of contemporary women's fashion, accessories, bed and bath collections & home fragrance.

Shayna Blaze[edit]

Shayna Blaze homewares collection [11] designed by Shayna Blaze. The collection includes bed linen, homewares and apparel.

Jamie Durie - By Ardor[edit]

Jamie Durie homewares collection [12] designed by Jamie Durie. The collection includes casual bed linens, cushions and sheet sets that are designed to bring nature inside the home.


MOZI is a Melbourne-based lifestyle brand specialising in unique Australian designed homewares, lifestyle and bath & body products. [13] designed exclusively for Harris Scarfe. The collection is known for original and whimsical designs.


  1. ^ https://greenlitbrands.com.au/
  2. ^ "Advertising". The Adelaide Express. IV (914). South Australia. 17 December 1866. p. 2. Retrieved 22 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ https://greenlitbrands.com.au/
  4. ^ https://greenlitbrands.com.au/
  5. ^ https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/11/25/steinhoff-international-to-buy-pepkor-of-south-africa-for-5-7-billion/
  6. ^ https://www.harrisscarfe.com.au/hs/Brands/Simply-Vera-Vera-Wang/SVVW
  7. ^ https://www.harrisscarfe.com.au/hs/Brands/Shaynna-Blaze/SHYB
  8. ^ https://www.harrisscarfe.com.au/hs/Brands/JAMIE-DURIE/JDUR</
  9. ^ Sweaty Betty PR (25 September 2013). "Simply Vera – Vera Wang for Harris Scarfe". Gracious Magazine.
  10. ^ Garland, Phoebes (22 October 2013). "Simply Vera – Vera Wang collaborates with heritage department store Harris Scarfe". fashioninitiative.com.au.
  11. ^ Forte Magazine (18 October 2017). "Shayna Blaze for Harris Scarfe". Forte Magazine.
  12. ^ Harris Scarfe (16 April 2018). "The Art of bringing the outdoors in with Jamie Durie by Ardor". hub Harris Scarfe.
  13. ^ Houzz (20 October 2018). "MOZI Lifestyle Brand Exclusively at Harris Scarfe". hub Houzz.