A MAJOR building supplies firm has blamed a decline in district housing approvals for the closure of its Kerang outlet.
Dahlsens will close its Tate Drive branch at close of business today, putting three or four people out of work.
"Tough market conditions mean that businesses at times need to make some hard decisions to ensure that they adapt to changing conditions in order to remain profitable," Dahlsens Building Centres Pty Ltd said in a statement.
"Over the past decade we have witnessed a steady decline in housing approvals within the local Swan Hill and Kerang region."
Dahlsens operated from a site adjacent to the intersection of Kerang-Quambatook and Kerang-Boort Roads for 34 years before relocating to leased premises in the town's industrial estate after being inundated during major flooding in 2011.
Dahlsens has advised that its Swan Hill store will service the Kerang market from next Monday.
A company spokesman said that "it will be very sad to no longer have a presence in Kerang as part of our store network."
"Unfortunately, with the downsizing of the business, it does mean that some staff will be made redundant and we will lose good people. For those affected, the company would like to publicly thank them for all their dedication and effort over the years."
A spokesman said that at least one person will be retained as a driver.
The Kerang outlet was part of a chain of 20 stores and seven truss and frame manufacturing sites across Victoria and southern New South Wales, operated by a family-owned company that was founded at Bairnsdale in 1877.
While the imminent closure of Dahlsens is disappointing, new business opportunities for that site are possible, according to Gannawarra Shire Council economic development manager, Roger Griffiths.
"It's disappointing when any business closes, but businesses have come and gone for 150 years," he said.
"New opportunities arise and the challenge now is to bring someone in."
Mr Griffiths said that Dahlsens leased the site and council will work with the owner in an attempt to attract a new business.