17 Apr 2020

Covid-19: The Warehouse to cut salaries and wages until move to alert level 2

4:57 pm on 17 April 2020

The Warehouse says it needs to cut salaries and wages, because it cannot reopen stores until the country moves to Covid-19 alert level 2.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The company employs more than 11,000 people at the Red Sheds, Warehouse Stationary, Torpedo7, and Noel Leeming.

But its 258 stores must remain shut to the public and will only be able to operate an online service.

"Unfortunately, there is such uncertainty around when normal business can resume, it is imperative that such measures are taken immediately," chief executive Nick Grayston said.

"We are now at a new stage in the pandemic where the horizon remains unclear around short and mid-term customer shopping habits and the ability to operate bricks and mortar stores."

He said staff would be consulted about the proposal to cut executives' pay by 20 percent until the end of June, as well as those earning more than $100,000 a year.

Those earning between $60,000 and $100,000 would see their pay cut by 10 percent, while the rest of the staff would have their pay maintained at current levels.

The company had already received a $67 million government wage subsidy, but said other costs continued to mount.

It said any changes to the proposed paid cuts would be reviewed when New Zealand moved to alert level 2 and when the wage subsidy ended on 17 June.

In the meantime, the company was working to reduce other operating costs and was continuing to work with landlords and suppliers regarding occupancy costs and payments due for trade and non-trade expenses.

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