Retail chain plans to shut up shop

Last updated 11:35 25/02/2013

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Retail fashion chain Suzanne Grae has announced a ''last resort'' proposal to shut down all of its 19 New Zealand stores, just over a year after launching here.

The potential closure puts about 100 jobs at risk.

The women's fashion stores owned by Australian company Sussan Group had a retail presence in New Zealand since 2006.

After declining sales, in November 2011 the remaining six of its Sussan stores were rebranded as the lower budget Suzanne Grae which specialises in garments for women aged from 40 to over 50.

Suzanne Grae chief executive Carole Molyneaux said it had thoroughly reviewed its business in New Zealand.

''Despite our best efforts to meet local customer requirements on range, price and service, we have not been able to establish a sustainable business.''

It had eight shops in Auckland and others in Rotorua, Christchurch, Wellington, Whangarei, New Plymouth and Dunedin.

Molyneaux said all of its 100 staff would be entitled to conditions under their employment contracts should the closure, over a progressive 11 month period, be effective.

''Consultation has commenced with staff to gain their views and input on the proposed closures. A final decision will depend on the outcome of the employee consultation process.''

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