The planned layoffs take the big retailer’s proposed restructure to 340 job losses.

The Warehouse Group is drastically expanding its job cuts with staff being told of an additional 150 staff to go on top of the 190 jobs announced at the end of January.

The Warehouse Group owns and operates The Warehouse, Torpedo 7, Noel Leeming, Warehouse Stationery and TheMarket.com.

The earlier restructure proposal cited challenging market conditions and a rise in online shopping as being behind the 190 cuts at its Auckland support offices.

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In an email to staff today the NZX-listed retail giant’s chief executive Nick Grayston said it had become clear it needed to “broaden the scope of changes and cost reductions” as retail spending was cut back.

In the email Grayston said the restructure was “ too important to not get right”.

The additional 150 jobs will also be cut from support offices. Retail workers will be unaffected.

It said it aimed to have the changes in place by Monday, March 27.

In a statement to the stock exchange on December 29 the retailer announced a slump in sales leading up to Christmas.

Between October 31 and December 26 total sales fell 5.5 percent compared with the same period in its previous financial year, which was impacted by lockdowns.

It generated a profit of $89.3m in that previous financial year, a 18.3 percent drop on the year before that.

In the lead up to Christmas sales at The Warehouse fell 1.3 percent, while Noel Leeming fell 11.8 percent, Torpedo7 fell 8.5 percent and Warehouse Stationery fell 9.2 percent.

Profit margin for the period fell 300 basis points.

The company came under fire in 2020 after laying off around 10% of its workforce in 2020 after opting to take $68m in government wage subsidy, which to its credit, it did pay back.

Grayston confirmed the company had shared an updated proposal with staff based at support offices in Auckland, to make some changes to the company’s structure. “The number of roles impacted by the proposed changes may increase to 340, in response to continuing challenging market conditions.”

Andrew Bevin is an Auckland-based business reporter who covers major industries, markets, regulation, aged care and fisheries.

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