Seven Bunnings stores close due to COVID-19 challenges

13/05/2020

Bunnings will close seven of its New Zealand stores with over 100 people set to lose their jobs due to on-going affects from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a recent Daily Mail Australia report.

The stores plan to close at the end of June and include Ashburton Warehouse, the Hornby and Hastings Trade Centres and four smaller stores in Cambridge, Rangiora, Te Awamutu and Putaruru.

In a statement released on May 12, Bunnings said 145 people will lose their jobs as the company had faced significant challenges because of the recent trading environment caused by COVID-19, according to the report.

Bunnings New Zealand Director, Jacqui Coombes, said their priority is the welfare of the 145 affected team members.  

‘This news is understandably upsetting and we will be working closely with our team during the consultation period to discuss their individual circumstances, including redeployment to other stores if possible,’ Ms Coombes said in a statement. 

The proposed closures follow previous measures to reduce the strain created by the recent difficult trading conditions over the previous month. This included Bunnings temporarily reducing salaried team member hours and pay by 20 per cent, and working with landlords on rental reduction, according to the Daily Mail Australia report.

‘Despite the incredible efforts of our teams, the challenges at these stores have been exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 environment and unfortunately these stores are no longer a viable part of our store network,’ Ms Coombes said.  

It was reported that Bunnings took into account many considerations before the closures took place including lease arrangements, individual store performance and suitability of location. 

Some of the stores listed for closure were always intended as temporary locations and closure of the Putaruru Bunnings store was planned prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and will cease trade on May 15.

This follows a review in late 2019 which saw Bunnings close three of its smaller-format stores at Te Aroha, Waikanae and Paeroa.