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Death Of A NZ Retailing Icon

The closure of 43 Deka stores around New Zealand is symptomatic of tough times for many retailers, National's Finance spokesman Bill English said today.

Farmers Deka Limited has decided to pull the plug on the Deka brand, resulting in 43 store closures and the remaining 17 Deka stores being rebranded as Farmers.

"More than 1,400 people lose their jobs as a result of today's announcement. And many of those jobs are in small towns where Deka, and its previous incarnation as Woolworths department stores, has been a feature for many decades. That makes this a very sad day in retailing.

"The simple fact is that times are very tough for many retailers, with margins tight and the Government doing little to help in terms of lowering compliance costs.

"It's all well and fine to talk about encouraging new industry and regional development. But that sort of talk from this Government will seem very esoteric and insubstantial to people in places like Dargaville, Morrinsville, Stratford, Taumaranui, Waipukurau, Wainuiomata and Gore, who are losing a retailing icon," Mr English said.


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