Otago Daily Times

Warehouse could axe up to 950 employees


AUCKLAND: Hundreds of workers at The Warehouse are being made redundant.

First Union has been told about 600 people will lose their jobs as a result of a restructur­ing proposed in July — and they expect more in the weeks to come.

The move will affect 92 Warehouse stores throughout the country.

First Union spokeswoma­n

Tali Williams said it had been a rollercoas­ter ride for workers, who were feeling ‘‘absolutely gutted’’.

‘‘They’re watching their workmates around them, their family, disappear, and go off and see what they can find out there. It’s a sad time.

‘‘As far as we’ve been told by the company, and we’re aware, there are probably, conservati­vely, about 600 people who will lose their jobs as part of this process.’’

Ms Williams said they expected more people to lose their jobs in the weeks to come.

In an NZX announceme­nt on June 8, the country’s largest listed retail company said it was moving to an agile business model, which would ‘‘likely see a reduction of around 100130 roles’’ in its Northcote head office.

It also planned to close six

The Warehouse, Noel Leeming and Warehouse Stationery stores. The stores that face closure include: Noel Leeming Henderson Clearance Centre and Tokoroa store, The Warehouse Whangapara­oa, Johnsonvil­le and Dunedin Central stores and the Warehouse Stationery Te Awamutu.

This follows earlier announceme­nts that it would close its Warehouse store in Birkenhead in July, and Noel Leeming stores in Papanui and The Palms in Christchur­ch.

The company said the proposals could cull up to 950 jobs.

Last week, The Warehouse posted a $44.5 million profit in the 2020 financial year.

The company, which operates The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, Torpedo7 and TheMarket.co.nz would have made a loss without the $67.7 million it received in wage subsidies.

It will not pay out a dividend despite its net cash position of $168.1 million. Its audited results are due tomorrow.

The Warehouse Group last week defended laying off hundreds of workers just months after it took the wage subsidy.

It came under fire from both main political party leaders during a leaders debate but justified the redundanci­es, saying its sales had plunged 67% or $265 million during the nationwide lockdown period.

— The New Zealand Herald

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand