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Groundhog Day? Dick Smith Shuts NZ Office

By Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 04/02/2014

Retailer shuts support office across the ditch, CN has learned

Dick Smith (DSE) has closed its support office in New Zealand.

The closure occurred last week. Most, or all, staff are believed to have lost their jobs.

It appears to be a case of Groundhog Day for the NZ support office - it had previously been shut down, only to later reopen.

The retailer confirmed "structural changes to its support office division" to CN, saying the move was designed to ensure a  "sustainable model" in the future. 

"Following a recent review of the business, Dick Smith Electronics in New Zealand has announced proposed structural changes to its support office division. 

The company is planning more centralised Operations and Support functions,servicing both Australia and New Zealand, although have not confirmed if it will be located at DSE's Australian base at Chullora, NSW. 

"The changes are designed to ensure Dick Smith has the most sustainable and successful operations model to support the future direction of the business."

The changes will not impact Dick Smith's NZ store network, or its customers, the retailer, who recently went public in Australia, insisted. 

The retailer told CN it will enter into discussions with all individuals impacted by the proposed changes. 

Dick Smith insists it "is fully committed to the continual growth and success of the New Zealand business."

DSE shares fell today to $2.16 down almost 1%, although no formal announcement was made to the ASX. 

Dick Smith has 61 stores in NZ. 

Its recent investors  prospectus indicates "the New Zealand market is experiencing heightened competition" due to The Warehouse Group acquiring Noel Leeming. 

DSE is forecasting sales of $1.2 bn and a six fold increase in pre-tax profits to $40m for FY14 across its Australian and NZ  stores. 

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