Forlongs Furnishings consider closure
More than 100 people working for one of the Waikato's largest and longest-serving retailers could lose their jobs.
Department store Forlongs Furnishings Limited announced to staff it's looking at shutting down.
It has been a Waikato institution serving the community for 70 years, but the doors of the retailer could soon close for good.
"I suspect that Forlongs will close and that will be a very sad day for Hamilton," says Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterton.
The family-run department store which sells everything from hardware to home furnishings announced the news to staff in a meeting last night.
"I think this is more of an individual decision, not a sign of the local economy," says William Durning from the Chamber of Commerce.
But in a close-knit community the news has come as a shock.
"You always think a retailer like Forlongs will keep going for another 30 years. I didn't hear a dicky bird about this until last night when I read the press release," says Mr Chesterton.
As for people with jobs in jeopardy -- the Chamber of Commerce says it's an opportunity for other businesses.
"I do believe there are dynamic businesses in Hamilton that would look to take people on," says Mr Durning.
Nobody from Forlongs commented today but in a statement said staff are going through a consultation process and it is business as usual until a decisions made in the next ten days.