H&J Smith Group Confirms Plans For Dunedin Department Store
H&J Smith today confirmed it will close its Dunedin department store on 30 January 2021, as well as the Armoury Store which operates in the Wall St precinct.
Earlier this month, the company confirmed the closure of its Te Anau and Balclutha stores, the downsizing of its Gore store and the closure of Outdoor World at Remarkables Park in Queenstown.
The company has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and is also grappling with issues like increasing wage and compliance costs, store size and scale and an ageing store network in need of capital expenditure.
Reducing its store network and consolidating its operations back to its home base of Invercargill, will enable H&J Smith to secure the long term future of its retail division.
Managing Director Jason Smith says “we’ve been working in the background with the Dunedin mall owners and managers to finalise terms. Late yesterday we received the necessary legal documentation to allow us to firm up exit dates.”
85 employees are affected by the Dunedin store closure.
“While I appreciate this will be very difficult for our Dunedin-based staff, I am pleased to be able to provide certainty so they can now plan for their futures,” says Jason Smith.
“We deeply regret the impact the Dunedin department store closure will have on our employees and their families, as well as the community.”
Mr Smith said that distance meant redeployment wasn’t a realistic option for the majority of employees however the company would consider this for staff who wanted to relocate.
“We are working closely with our staff to ensure we are able to provide our high level of service to our customers until we close in January next year.”
Decisions on the future of the H&J Smith store at Mosgiel are under active consideration with no further details are available at this time.
The other businesses operated by the H & J Smith Group, Mitre 10 MEGA in Invercargill and Queenstown and Laser Electrical in Invercargill are not affected by the restructure.