Postie Plus closes 12 shops

ELLEN READ AND CECILE MEIER
Last updated 21:49 18/06/2014

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Sixty-four Postie Plus employees are set to lose their jobs as administrators for the troubled clothing chain close 12 of the company's 82 stores.

Postie Plus went into voluntary administration on June 3.

Company management had identified a number of stores that were no longer viable before they were appointed, administrators David Bridgman and Colin McCloy of Pwc said tonight.

The Birkenhead, Bishopdale Mens, Bishopdale Womens and Kids, Dannevirke, Gore, Mt Roskill, Papatoetoe, Rangiora Kids, St Lukes, Sydenham, Te Kuiti and Westgate stores will close in the first week of July.

"Due to the on-going needs of the wider business operations, the difficult decision has been made, in conjunction with management, to close a number of stores. All staff at these locations have been informed," McCloy said.

The workers’ union, First Union, said it was shocked by the announcement and would be seeking legal advice.

“What has happened is highly irregular,” said general secretary Robert Reid. 

“Neither employees or the union were advised that there was a review on the future of stores before Postie went under Administration.  No indication was given at last Thursday’s creditors meeting that so many stores would be closed and redundancies made.  

"In fact at the creditors meeting the Administrator gave the opposite impression, that it would be business as usual for the next few weeks,’’ he said. 

“This action raises the question of whether the Voluntary Administration that the company is under is simply a ruse to implement pre-determined restructuring under the protection of Administration.’’ 

He added: “While staff recognise that store closures and redundancies may happen at some stage, the way this has been handled is unacceptable." 

The day after Postie's administration it was announced that an unnamed major international retail group was doing due diligence with a view to buying the firm.

Postie Plus' chairman Richard Punter  said then that he would neither confirm nor deny that large South African investment group Pepkor was behind the offer, as one media report stated.

"All I'm prepared to say is we have been speaking with a company for many months and . . . that the company is in due diligence," he said.

Pepkor has retailing chains in Africa, Eastern Europe and Australia.


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