For 166 years, retail icon Dimmeys has won over bargain hunters. But this week, it abruptly announced it was about to close for good.
For 166 years, retail icon Dimmeys has won over bargain hunters. But this week, it abruptly announced it was about to close for good.

Aussie discount favourite’s shock collapse

It's a bona fide Australian icon, attracting generations of shoppers with its famously no-frills outlook and promise of "always a bargain".

But after 166 years of trading, discount retailer Dimmeys is finally closing its doors for good.

Dimmeys - which is believed to be the oldest ongoing retail company in the country - took to social media this week to confirm the news.

"After 166 years one of Australia's oldest retailers is Closing Down. All stock in store MUST GO!" it said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The news sparked an outpouring of comments from thousands of devastated shoppers.

"No way this is one of my favourite stores," one Facebook user posted, while another wrote: "This is so depressing honestly. Little bits of Australia are disappearing so quickly."

Dimmeys closing down sale kicked off yesterday, with 30 per cent off on its online store as well.

Thousands of Aussies have been left devastated by the news.
Thousands of Aussies have been left devastated by the news.

Over the decades, Dimmeys built up a loyal following thanks to its quirky variety of products - from underwear to homewares and everything in between - at low prices.

According to the Dimmeys website, the company has a "fascinating history" that has had "many twists and turns" resulting in "a remarkable story of survival in an extremely tough industry".

"At Dimmeys we don't mind admitting that we're an old fashioned, no frills organisation (focused) on keeping our overheads low so that we can honour our promise to customers - 'Always a Bargain'," the website states.

"Our philosophy ensures a truly fun and unique bargain basement-style shopping experience. "Customers can discover national brand overruns, end-of-ranges, goods with slight imperfections and value for money merchandise at 40 per cent-80 per cent off. There's nothing like the exhilaration of getting a bargain to keep you coming back for more!"

Today there are more than 30 Dimmeys stores scattered across the country, with the majority located in Victoria and in smaller towns.

Dipper starred in Dimmeys’ ads in the ’80s.
Dipper starred in Dimmeys’ ads in the ’80s.

In the '80s, Dimmeys recruited AFL legend Robert "Dipper" DiPierdomenico to star in its famous, low-budget ad campaigns.

And in 2014 the company folded, although it was eventually bought by Cool Breeze Clothing, and given a new lease on life.

As thousands of Australians mourn the loss of yet another retail empire, the Dimmeys website is still spruiking its plans for "further expansion", calling on locals to recommend potential sites.

AUSSIE RETAIL IN TROUBLE

Sadly, Dimmeys is just one of many Australian retailers to have run into trouble in 2019.

In January, menswear retailer Ed Harry went into voluntary administration and a week later, Aussie sportswear favourite Skins also revealed it was on the brink of failure after applying for bankruptcy in a Swiss court.

At the end of the month, the Napoleon Perdis beauty empire announced the cult make-up chain's 56 Aussie stores had closed for stocktake. Administrators were appointed, and scores of stores have since collapsed.

Footwear trailblazer Shoes of Prey also met its demise this year, along with British fashion giant Karen Millen, which in September revealed it would soon shut all Aussie stores, leaving around 80 jobs in peril.

Dimmeys closing down sale is now on.
Dimmeys closing down sale is now on.

Last month, celebrity chef Shannon Bennett's Melbourne burger chain Benny Burger was also placed into administration followed by seven Red Rooster outlets in Queensland just days later, and then Aussie activewear sensation Stylerunner, which has since been sold to Accent Group Limited.

Just weeks ago it was revealed that popular furniture and homewares company Zanui had collapsed after it abruptly entered voluntary administration, leaving some angry customers in the lurch.

Muscle Coach, a leading fitness company, has also been put into voluntary administration this month after a director received a devastating diagnosis and the company racked up debts of almost $1 million.

And this week, it was revealed the famous Criniti's restaurant chain had entered into voluntary administration, with several of the 13 sites across the country to be closed for good.


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