Finance Consumer Dick Smith announces closure of food business

Dick Smith announces closure of food business

dick smith
After 19 years on supermarket shelves, Dick Smith says he brand will be no more. Photo: Getty
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Businessman Dick Smith has announced plans to close his food business to avoid bankruptcy.

Dick Smith Foods will be phased out in coming months.

The entrepreneur has 13 food products on the shelves, including a range of spreads, tomato sauce, and cereal.

The 74-year-old intends to connect individual suppliers with the major supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths to negotiate their ongoing production.

In a five-page email Mr Smith thanked industry heavyweights for their two decades of support.

“It is my melancholy duty to inform you that the decision has been made to close Dick Smith Foods Pty Ltd,” he wrote.

He said he had created about $480 million for Australian farmers and processors, and given more than $10 million to charity.

“In recent times, the only way we have been able to achieve sales at an acceptable level (that would allow our products to have shelf space) is by discounting so much that we are often losing money,” he wrote.

dock smith
Dick Smith’s stable of brands includes 13 food products. Photo: Dick Smith Foods

The email was sent to the managing directors of Coles and Woolworths, as well as Jeff Adams, the CEO of grocery marketing and distribution company Metcash.

“Now that I have made the decision to close Dick Smith Foods, we will be winding it down over the next 12 months,” he said.

“Yes, at the present time the company is successful and viable. However, it is clear that this will not go on forever, so I have made the decision before the inevitable takes place and we are forced into bankruptcy.