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Countdown stores close, jobs cut

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/07/2016

Australasian supermarket chain Woolworths will have to find $A35 million ($NZ37.3m) to fund plans to make 500 staff members redundant.

Six Countdown supermarkets in New Zealand will be closed while the company will look to sell its New Zealand clothing and homeware retailer EziBuy.

In a statement to the Australian stock exchange on Monday Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said 1000 staff had been moved from the group office into roles within the business, while another 500 support and supply chain jobs will be cut.

"Redundancy cots of $35 million primarily reflect a reduction in approximately 500 roles across our support office and supply chain network," Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said.

"While we have had to make some tough decisions and this has ramifications for many of our team, we are confident we are putting in place solid foundations for the future and early results give us confidence we are on the right track."

The six New Zealand stores to be closed have not been identified, neither have three others that have been identified as underperforming.

The closing stores have an average of nine years left to run on their leases.

Mr Banducci said they were primarily loss-making or fell in the bottom quartile for sales based on square metre.

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