The Warehouse to cut an estimated 130 head office jobs

The Warehouse is making job cuts.
MAARTEN HOLL/FAIRFAX NZ

The Warehouse is making job cuts.

The Warehouse is expecting to cut 130 positions at its head office in Auckland, but a union says it could have been worse.

Group chief executive Nick Grayston said that the exact number of job cuts was not yet known because staff were still being redeployed where possible.

Once that process was finished, he could confirm the number of people who were leaving the business.

"At this stage, we are anticipating a net reduction of around 130 roles and we will be doing everything we can to support our team members during this time."

About 1000 people work at The Warehouse's head office and job cuts have been on the cards since the company announced in January it was moving ot a new operational structure.

Those changes included combining the leadership of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, and Noel Leeming with Torpedo7.

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The changes were being made to "drive an improvement in financial performance and generate greater customer relevance".

The job cuts did not involve any stores, the company said.

Maxine Gay, an organiser for First Union, said her union represented staff in the group's stores and distribution centres rather than those at head office level.

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But she was relieved that the number of job cuts was not higher.

"It's obviously quite sad for those people, but it could have been more.

"We remain hopeful that this is where it ends."

She said it looked like the Warehouse was removing a layer of management and duplication as it strove to cut costs after a profit downgrade.

"There are only two ways in which you can get back into the black, and that is to either increase sales or reduce costs."

The stores were already working at a lean level of staff, Gay said. "It would be hard to see how they could make any further restrictions."  

The company said it was too early to say what the exact savings would be but estimated savings were between $15 million and $20m on the annual net cost of doing business.

A one-off restructuring cost of between $10m and $13m would be factored into its current financial year.

The group said it would make a further update during its first half results on March 9.

 

 - Stuff

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