Published in the Herald Sun:
By Aleczander Gamboa
ICONIC Australian ice cream maker Dairy Bell has announced it will close its doors after more than 40 years, blaming heavy profit losses and rising labour prices.
The company will shut – including its shops in Bundoora, Doncaster, East Malvern, Mitcham, Bayswater North – on February 27.
It expects to redevelop its factory sites in East Malvern annd Camperdown, NSW, for real estate.
“Supermarket ice cream wars have cost the retailer profit and the manufacturer loss of margin and have reduced our capacity to recover costs for some four years now with our capital being eroded year by year,” a statement on the company’s website said.
“We tried our own shops with a terrific customer response, however the weekend trade (our best time) made losses due to the high weekend cost of labour in the stores.
“Indications for the future are of continuing ingredient and labour rises making plant and machinery replacement and profit budgeting impossible.”
It said it did not want to “compromise our assets” and had therefore decided the time was right to develop its sites.
“We are solvent and all of our creditors will be paid in full,” the statement said.
“Thank you for your support over the years but as the song goes you must know when to hold it and know when to fold it.”
Founded by Andre Razums and John Stanford, the Australian-owned company was established in 1970 and has won garnered several awards and a loyal fan base.