Auckland, New Zealand, 2015-6-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Foodstuffs North Island Ltd has today confirmed that as part of an extensive review of its wholesale business and following consultation with affected staff, it is consolidating a number of its wholesale Cash’n Carry stores – resulting in the closure over the next couple of months of Toops Napier, Toops New Plymouth, Gilmours Panmure, Gilmours Henderson and Gilmours Rotorua.
Doug Cochrane, General Manager Retail, Foodstuffs North Island Ltd says, “We need to meet the evolving needs of our customers and to do this we need to have a network of well located, large format stores, offering a consistent customer experience and product range across the North Island. Unfortunately, these five wholesale stores due to their size or location were not suitable to be turned into the large format stores customers will require for the future.”
The store closures will affect a total of 128 full and part time employees.
“The decision to close these stores was not taken lightly,” says Cochrane. “We are absolutely committed to helping our staff during this tough time and providing all the support we can. With the support of the local community and our wider co-operative, we will be working hard to find our people job opportunities within the Foodstuffs network of stores, in particularly in the 60 businesses across the regions these stores are located in. We have identified over 100 job opportunities currently available within the Foodstuffs network and we are confident that many more job opportunities will be found in the coming days.”
“We recognise that financially this decision will have an impact on staff so a ‘Care Programme’ has been developed so we can provide all affected staff with financial and other support at the conclusion of their contracts. Our staff have great skills and we are confident they will be an asset to anyone who takes them on. Concentrating on facilitating this process is a top priority for us right now and we have enlisted the support of external HR advisors to provide staff with CV writing and interview skills.”
“The teams at all these stores do a great job and our decision to close the stores is absolutely no reflection on them,” says Cochrane. “We have been proudly servicing the wholesale market for many years, and we remain totally committed to delivering the best possible offer we can to our wholesale customers. These changes are a direct reflection of us listening to our customers’ needs and our desire to provide the right offer to meet their long-term business requirements.”
Cochrane adds that while the decision to close the stores is a difficult one, he believes it is the best decision for customers. “We will be investing in our seven remaining stores in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North and Wellington so that our wholesale business will provide a better store offer and help our customers run their businesses more effectively.”
Customers will continue to get great service throughout this period of change and service delivery customers of the affected stores will still be able to shop via the Service Delivery offering and have their products delivered direct to their premises.