Hundreds more Darrell Lea workers will lose their jobs after a deal was struck to sell the troubled chocolate maker.
The confectionary company was today sold to the Quinn family, which plans to restructure the loss-making business.
The Quinn family, owners of VIP Pet Foods, said the restructure will result in 246 permanent and 172 casual Darrell Lea employees being made redundant.
Four of its WA stores were closed in August.
Under the restructure announced today, the remaining 27 Darrell Lea company-owned stores will close their doors for the last time on Sunday.
However chocolate lovers will still be able to buy Darrell Lea goods through the network of 1,200 licensed retailers, wholesalers and exporters.
Darrell Lea was put up for sale in July after administrators took control of the company to save it from financial ruin.
The chocolate manufacturer had been experiencing trading problems for some time, with soft retail conditions partly to blame.
Darrell Lea in August halved the number of its stores and axed nearly 200 jobs.
Under the Queensland-based Quinn family’s restructure only 83 employees will remain at the company.
The Lea family said the sale was necessary to preserve the commercial value of the company.
"The Lea family acknowledges that this has been a very challenging period for everybody involved with the Darrell Lea business,” the family said.
"The family believes that it has acted to the best of its ability to protect the interests of staff, licensees, suppliers and other key stakeholders."
A spokesman for the Quinn family said they wanted to ensure the iconic brand remained under Australian ownership."Our company has a strong history of building sustainable Australian-based businesses, and it is our aim to do the same with Darrell Lea,” the spokesman said.
The new magazine for a new generation of West Australians.Click here to download »
All the latest market figures from Australia and the world.Click here »
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.