Yogurtland Australia has announced it will permanently close all of its stores across New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland because of the economic fallout associated with COVID-19.
“After eight years of making bad days good and good days great, we have made the difficult decision to close all Yogurtland Australia stores,” the company said in a post on Facebook.
“The ongoing ban of our self-serve model and economic impact of COVID-19 have taken their toll and despite our best efforts, we are unable to move forward.”
The last day of trading at Yogurtland’s 11 stores coincides with the end of the JobKeeper wage subsidy, which provided a lifeline to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
The final phase of the $90 billion JobKeeper program winds up on March 28, 2021.
The popular frozen yoghurt chain opened in Australia in 2013, after Newcastle accountant Paul Siderovski bought the rights from the US franchise.
Siderovski’s ambitious plan was to open up to 50 Yogurtland stores across Australia within five years.
Due to coronavirus restrictions enforced in April last year, Yogurtland temporarily closed its stores. When it reopened, the stores had to change the self-serve model due to health and hygiene guidelines.
Customers have not since been able to make their own yoghurts. Instead, staff have been required to fill up the yoghurt cups on their behalf.
Loyal customers responded to Yogurtland’s announcement about the store closures on social media to express their shock and disappointment.
“No! My daughter will be devastated. We drive from Port Macquarie to Newcastle to have it,” one customer said on Facebook.
“Such a shame. A trip to Glendale Shopping Centre in NSW was never complete without a yummy treat from Yogurtland,” said another.