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Kumfs Announces Further Redundancies

MAY 2008

Kumfs Announces Further Redundancies

Kumfs announced today [28 May] further redundancies at its Mangere Factory, as the high cost of manufacturing in New Zealand continues to hit hard.

Kumfs Managing Director, Andrew Robertson, said the decision to offer redundancy packages to 23 manufacturing staff was made only after the company had explored all options.

"This has been driven largely by increased consumer demand for more complex, labour intensive shoe styles which can only be made in a cost effective way offshore in places like China. Also having an impact are issues relating to accessibility to suppliers, the high value of the New Zealand dollar and increased inflationary pressures."

Mr Robertson said it was "regrettably" inevitable that the company's manufacturing activities would be repositioned away from New Zealand to offshore locations.

Last year, 31 of the company's 114 manufacturing staff took up voluntary redundancies.

Mr Robertson said assistance to prepare employees for alternative employment would be made available to affected staff.

Internationally, Kumfs now has nearly 700 stockists in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, North America and Asia.

- ends -

About Kumfs

Kumfs was founded in the 1940s by New Zealand podiatrists Mervyn Adams and David Robertson. They identified that many foot problems in women were due to wearing European shoes that were designed for narrow feet.

On that basis, they went on to make comfortable, casual shoes for women, and have grown the range to now encompass orthotic-capable footwear as well as foot-friendly fashionable shoes for the modern woman.

The company has rapidly grown to become a local and international success story, with company-owned stores in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, and a total of over 350 retailers worldwide.

A professional fitting service, standard in any Kumfs store, and a 30 day No Risk Wear Test for Kumfs Customer Club members has also attracted strong buyer interest.

With people becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of good posture and the importance of buying shoes that enhance that, sales of Kumfs shoes are expected to grow exponentially.

ENDS


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