Wollongong outdoor supplies store FX Larkin will close on Friday, ending more than 40 years of business and leaving six staff members without a job just days before Christmas.
The Illawarra Mercury has obtained a letter handed to FX Larkin staff dated November 22, in which company director Keith Shead blamed the decision to shut up shop on a "difficult" past 12 months.
"As you would be aware FX Larkin has found the past 12 months difficult to maintain reasonable sales and survive this period," Mr Shead wrote. "Unfortunately we now have no option but to close FX Larkin Wollongong Pty Ltd on the 20 December 2013."
The Mercury understands staff were told not to tell customers the store was closing, but were not told why the store's closure wouldn't be made public.
The Mercury contacted FX Larkin and left multiple messages for Mr Shead; however he failed to respond.
Meantime, FX Larkin has announced a "mega sale", in an attempt to clear "$700,000 excess stock ... before Christmas".
There is no mention of the store closing on its website.
An anonymous source said workers, some of whom had been with the company for more than 25 years, were handed the letter and told nothing else about the closure.
"They are all upset, some are in their 50s ... they're not allowed to tell customers they're closing," the source said.
In the letter, Mr Shead said all employees would be "fully paid all entitlements", with the funds to be deposited directly into their bank accounts.
"I hereby give four weeks' notice of termination of your employment with your last working day being the 20 December 2013," Mr Shead wrote.
"It is with regret I take this action and let you know your contribution to FX Larkin over the years has been greatly appreciated. I sincerely thank you for being part of the FX Larkin team."