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Warehouse to cut a net 130 jobs

NZN 23/02/2017 Paul McBeth

Warehouse Group expects to shed a net 130 jobs, or about 1.1 per cent of its workforce, in an effort to save up to $20 million a year after slimming down the structure of its retail model to try to strip out duplication.

The country's biggest listed retailer has been consulting with staff at its store support office in Auckland and some regional centres over the past few weeks as part of an overhauled business structure that will bundle its stationery and "Red Sheds" into one division and its Noel Leeming and Torpedo7 groups into another.

Warehouse's store teams haven't been part of the process, which seeks to whittle down leadership into its two new arms and move support systems of the existing brands to be group-wide, it said.

Chief executive Nick Grayston said the company expects about a net 130 roles to go, and anticipates annual savings of $15 million to $20 million, with a one-off restructuring bill of between $10 million and $13 million.

"Discussions with team members are ongoing with a view to supporting those who are impacted through a redeployment process," Grayston said.

"We will be doing everything we can to support our team members during this time."

Warehouse signalled it wanted to strip out "significant cost" by cutting duplication across the groups when announcing the new structure last month.

The Warehouse employs more than 12,000 people, according to its website. Its wage bill rose to $456.7 million in the year ended July 31, 2016, from $439 million a year earlier, while its performance based compensation jumped up to $23.1 million from $8 million in 2015.

Grayston said the savings from the restructure won't show up until the 2018 financial year with savings in salaries and reductions in other areas including external provider and operational costs, and other overheads.

The shares rose 1.9 per cent to $2.68, and have gained 3 per cent over the past 12 months.

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