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The human cost of Dick Smith’s slide into receivership

  • News
  • January 28, 2016
  • Sarah Dunn
The human cost of Dick Smith’s slide into receivership

“To have generations of New Zealanders shopping in our stores and – in more recent times – online, is testament to what Dick Smith did right for so many years: offer the products customers want, at a price that’s right, with knowledgeable, friendly service.

It’s a simple formula that helped us become one of the most-loved and trusted retail brands, employing thousands of Kiwis.

That trust was hard won and, in recent times, easily lost.”

The letter went on to emphasise that Dick Smith stores remain open for business. It encouraged upset customers to look on the bright side and give the company a second chance: “rather than the end of anything, we look at this as the beginning of a new journey.”

When NZRetail spoke with Mark Powell, who left The Warehouse Group earlier this month to become Massey University’s first CEO-in-residence, he empathised with those who had been personally affected by Dick Smith’s collapse.

“I think, number one, it’s very sad,” Powell says. “There are people who are probably at this very time very worried about their futures, what’s going to happen, there’s a lot of investors who’ve lost a lot of money.”

Powell doesn’t claim an inside view on the factors which drove Dick Smith into receivership, but as the chain is a direct competitor with TWG-owned electronics brand Noel Leeming, his team have kept a close eye on it since Noel Leeming’s purchase in 2013.

“What we saw was a business that took a lot of staff out,” Powell says. “It pumped up the cost saving. We saw a team that seemed quite demotivated.”

Powell sees a direct connection between Dick Smith’s low staffing levels and, compared to Noel Leeming’s career retailer wage, low pay rate; staff morale; and flagging sales. Low staff morale leads to high turnover, says Powell, which impacts on service and, consequently, sales.

“Clearly they’ve lost a lot of sales, they’ve lost a lot of market share. And really that, to me, is a lesson in the core basics of price, promotion and customer experience. Especially in that sector, because customer experience in that sector, people walk in and they want some help. They’ve often done a little preview search but it’s a big ticket purchase, often.”

In the upcoming February/March issue of NZRetail magazine, Powell further explores the connection between implementation of the career retailer wage at Noel Leeming and increased staff retention.

​ ​

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Kiwi Property makes $138m net profit for the year

  • News
  • May 21, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Kiwi Property makes $138m net profit for the year

Kiwi Property has reported a strong full year underlying profit, as it continues to reinvest in its Auckland retail and office properties.

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Thankyou’s latest campaign combines scent and charity work

  • News
  • May 21, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Thankyou’s latest campaign combines scent and charity work

Australian charity product organisation Thankyou has launched its latest Kiwi campaign, combining that fact that 100 percent of its profit goes towards helping end global poverty with its use of perfume-grade botanical oils in its products.

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From edible insects to beautiful homeware: Made of Tomorrow’s co-founder talks its new venture

  • Design
  • May 21, 2019
  • Idealog
From edible insects to beautiful homeware: Made of Tomorrow’s co-founder talks its new venture

Most people would be in agreement that bugs, planters and room dividers don’t have much in common, but Matt Genefaas and Dan Craig would beg to differ. The two juggle running an edible insect company, Crawlers, as well as a homeware company, Made of Tomorrow. Genefaas has a chat about what the new furniture range, Space Between, was inspired by, as well as how him and Craig spend their days in slashie roles moving between pushing dried insects to the world, as well as polished mirrors and space dividers.

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Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
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Why is the next generation so anxious? Here's how young founders can avoid burn-out

  • Opinion
  • May 21, 2019
  • Jennifer Young
Why is the next generation so anxious? Here's how young founders can avoid burn-out

There may be good reason to be concerned about our young entrepreneurs. Millennials and Generation Z have been labelled generation burn-out, generation snowflake and described as narcissistic, entitled, tech-dependent and fragile. They’re also oversaturated with headlines about the raft of issues like climate change they have to tackle, plus concerns about the impact of technology and social media on their mental health. Jennifer Young explores possible reasons why the younger generation is so anxious, as well as what young founders can do to avoid burn-out.

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Vodafone NZ sold to private investors for $3.4b

  • News
  • May 21, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Vodafone NZ sold to private investors for $3.4b

Infrastructure investor Infratil is teaming up with a Canadian investment firm to buy the local operations of Vodafone for $3.4 billion.

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Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

  • Property
  • May 16, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

The company that owns Courtenay Central in Wellington says it has big plans for redeveloping the complex - which is closed due to earthquake risks.

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