After 121 years, Bracey’s at Lithgow sells to Harvey Norman

By James Wells

LITHGOW: After five generations and 121 years of operating, one of the last family-owned department stores, Bracey’s at Lithgow – which includes a Retravision and a Mitre 10 store – will become a Harvey Norman store later this month.

The managing director of the department store, David Bracey, told Current.com.au that after five generations it was time to leave.

“It is time to move on,” David Bracey told Current.com.au

“To be honest, the turnover has been hard with falling prices and the Chinese market has made fairly big inroads. It is not profitable to remain in business.

“It is time to get out and let someone younger have a crack at it.”

The Bracey business was founded in 1886 when Major H.E.S. Bracey bought an existing general merchant business which then developed into a clothing and grocery retailer.

The business has since been managed by David Bracey’s father, John Bracey, and his father Eric.

David Bracey told Current that Harvey Norman had presented the business with a “good offer”.

Last year Bracey’s modified its business by consolidating three existing buildings into one centralised 1,500 square metre location.

At the time, Bracey told Current.com.au that neither local competition nor the succession of interest rate rises had had an affect on the business, and explained the reason for the restructure was economic conditions.

"The decision to restructure has come due to the general downturn in business, which has become a lot more acute recently, and the economy in general,” Bracey said last year.

“It has come as a bit of a shock to the town,” said Bracey at the time.

Bracey said that his business would go from strength to strength following the restructure in the lead up to last Christmas and that there was still plenty of room for success.

“We’re not out for the count,” Bracey said at the time.

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