Harris Scarfe will close 21 of its stores across five states over the next four weeks after the retail chain fell into receivership in December.

The flagship Rundle Mall store in Adelaide will be shuttered along with two stores in WA, six in Queensland, three in Victoria, one in SA and one in the ACT.

Around 440 employees will have their jobs affected due to the closures, according to Deloitte Restructuring Services partner Vaughan Strawbridge.

“This has been a difficult decision, but one necessary to position the Harris Scarfe business for a successful sale and continued operation,” Strawbridge said.

“All efforts are being made to redeploy affected staff around the rest of the store network, and all staff that leave the business will receive all wages and entitlements in full on the closure of individual stores.”

The remaining 44 stores will continue to trade with the group offered for sale.

Despite its annual sales of $380 million, Harris Scarfe has an estimated total debt of $160 million to creditors, 9News reported.