Jobs to go: Cold Rock stores close without warning

 

GROWING costs has forced the closure of several Queensland Cold Rock stores, putting 20 staff out of work and leaving suppliers owed thousands of dollars.

In separate posts to Facebook this week it was announced Cold Rock stores at Indooroopilly and Springwood would close.

Both Cold Rock franchises are owned by Bambry Enterprises Pty Ltd director Don Bambry.

Mr Bambry took over the Springwood shop in 2014.

He said rising costs in the past 12 months made the stores unviable.

"There's no question it's just not profitable to run the business," he said.

"The stores are incredibly popular but over the last year or two with the increase in sales through Uber Eats and other home-delivery services, the commission they take, takes the profit out of the business."

The store owner declared he was "not the problem" with Uber Eats taking 30 per cent of the sale price as commission.

"It takes businesses months and months to realise they're bleeding (to delivery companies)," Mr Bambry said.

Cold Rock stores have closed in Queensland.
Cold Rock stores have closed in Queensland.

About 20 employees from the two stores are out of work but have been paid their entitlements as a priority.

He said several suppliers were owed money, in the tens of thousands of dollars.

"The growth in the stores has peaked and the costs keep going up," he said.

"It's quite sad for me to close."

Mr Bambry said he was "relentless about concerns" to head office about the stores' profitability.

"If I go on the dole tomorrow I'm going to bring home more money that I did for the past 12 months," he said.

Franchised Food Company chief executive Stan Gordon blamed evening penalty rates for "making a lot of the retail stores untenable".

"You just can't pay the wages that are demanded," he said.

"I think you'll continue to see the demise of retail stores.

"I think everybody should be paid the same rate for a 38-hour week and then after 38 hours add penalty rates.

"We're in a 24-hour, seven-day world."

Mr Gordon said the closure of the two stores "took us by absolute surprise".

He said Springwood, the third-best performing store in Australia, would be reopened.

"There's no guarantees in life but I can say pretty certainly Springwood will open," he said.

"We're in the business of opening stores, not closing them."

 

Franchised Food Company chief executive Stan Gordon. (Pic: AAP/Andrew Maccoll)
Franchised Food Company chief executive Stan Gordon. (Pic: AAP/Andrew Maccoll)

 

He disagreed with Mr Bambry's complaint about delivery companies crippling the business.

"I don't really buy that," he said.

"If you don't want to do it, don't do it.

"Nobody is standing with a gun at their head saying you have to."

The Franchised Food Company boss said the company was strong and would continue to expand.

"Retail is tough and anybody who says differently is talking nonsense," he said.

"We're strong and we're seeing growth in our stores."

Mr Bambry said his company, Bambry Enterprises Pty Ltd, would be put into liquidation.

The closure of the popular ice creamery comes less than a week after the Courier Mail revealed Toowoomba-based company Home Ice Cream would downsize.
Home Ice Cream closed its Gold Coast depot last month, putting four people out of work.


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