Closure hits Dannevirke retail scene

Last updated 12:00 20/06/2014

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Dannevirke's retail scene has taken an unexpected hit after Postie Plus announced plans to close the Tararua store next month.

Staff at the Dannevirke Postie Plus clothing store will be forced to look elsewhere for employment after an announcement this week that their store was one of 12 nationwide to be closed.

The other stores closing are Birkenhead, Bishopdale Men's, Bishopdale Women's and Kids, Gore, Mt Roskill, Papatoetoe, Rangiora Kids, St Luke's, Sydenham, Te Kuiti and Westgate.

Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce chairperson Suresh Patel said it was disappointing for Dannevirke to lose the store.

"It was very, very sudden and unfortunate.

"It leaves another hole in our township."

Patel said there were a few empty retail spaces in the town the chamber was working on getting filled.

"We need to put more focus on attracting businesses to Dannevirke and work even harder to stimulate the central business district."

The workers' union, First Union, represents one staff member from the Dannevirke store.

First Union's general secretary Robert Reid said the said the member was stunned to hear that they would be made redundant. The union would seek legal advice.

"Our general concern is that there had been no prior consultation with workers or the union."

"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.

"They said that they had been reviewing stores and under employment law companies looking at restructuring must inform workers."

Justine St John, a marketing director for professional services firm PwC, said the four staff members at the store were notified of their redundancies on Wednesday and counselling services had been offered.

The move will affect 64 Postie Plus staff across the country.

The 12 stores will continue to trade in the interim until the final closure dates in the first week of July.

The remaining 70 stores will continue trading.

Postie Plus went into voluntary administration on June 3.

Partners from PwC, David Bridgman and Colin McCloy, were appointed as administrators.

The administrators then announced a conditional agreement to sell the assets and business of the company as a going concern to an international retail group.

McCloy said the decision was made, in conjunction with management, to close a number of stores.

"We recognise that this is a difficult period for all concerned, and wish to thank staff for their professionalism and commitment, and customers and the local communities for their loyalty and support."

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No one from the Dannevirke store wished to comment.

- Manawatu Standard

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