What will happen to Dick Smith's 430 Kiwi staff left jobless?

  • News
  • February 26, 2016
  • Elly Strang
What will happen to Dick Smith's 430 Kiwi staff left jobless?

Receivers from Ferrier Hodgson said there were a significant number of expressions of interest from local and overseas parties.

However, the offers were either below liquidation values or highly conditional.

As a result, the remaining 301 stores in Australia and 62 stores in New Zealand will close in the next eight weeks.

The folding of Dick Smith means nearly 3000 workers will lose their jobs, including 430 staff within New Zealand.

New Zealand employees’ who are made redundant will will rank ahead of secured creditors and will be paid in full up to $22,160.

Receiver James Stewart said the job loss was a disappointing outcome for employees that had been loyal to the business.

“We would particularly like to thank the Dick Smith employees for their support and patience during the receivership process.”

The human cost

When looking at the bigger picture economically, 430 jobs cut isn’t a significant portion of the retail market.

The Household Labour Force survey found that 362,000 people worked in the retail sector in 2015, while the New Zealand economy as a whole has about two million jobs in it.

Infometrics senior economist Matt Nolan says in this respect, 430 jobs being lost has no real economic impact, especially when the business they worked at was unable to create value.

However, he notes that it’s significant as a group of people are suddenly losing their livelihood.

“Retail firms do predominately hire second earners in a household, or young employees, and many of these people will be able to comfortably segue into either new work or other non-market activity: study, work around the house,” he says. 

“However, this is not the case for everyone. Given that there will be a core of people with retail specific skills who relied on that job, we also need to think about their ability to move into similar work.”

He says the outlook isn’t great for jobs, but it’s better than it would’ve been a year ago.

“Overall, the data suggests that even though it is the best time to be looking for this sort of work since 2008 it is hardly going to be easy to find new work.”

Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod said it’s always unfortunate to see job losses of this scale, but on the upside there’s a reasonably firm outlook for the New Zealand labour market.

“430 is a not a small number, it will be spread nationwide, but it’s at a time when the economy is starting to strengthen so there is the possibility that there will be jobs in retail and other sectors,” Ranchhod says.

First Retail managing director Chris Wilkinson says there’s an eight-week window ahead for staff, so with general industry churn some will naturally gain jobs across the sector.

However, he said finding another job could be challenging in the vulnerable areas, such as some provincial towns.

“Some staff may have to look outside the consumer electronics segment,” he says.

A number of retail developments underway will result in new jobs being created, he said.

“Looking at upcoming openings, there are a number of Countdown Supermarkets under construction now, new Bunning's branches near to opening and other large retailers close to committing to new sites or takeovers of smaller retailers that are in the wind.

“Essentially the retail sector is highly dynamic at the moment - which is good in terms of career opportunities.”

In Australia, a government inquiry is being led by Senator Nick Xenophon into the collapse of Dick Smith.

Questions will be asked about Woolworths’ sale of Dick Smith and corporate and consumer watchdogs not stepping in.

There are no plans to investigate its demise this side of the ditch.

Read former Warehouse Group CEO Mark Powell’s perspective on the Dick Smith saga here.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Gun retail will change after the Christchurch shooting

  • Opinion
  • March 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gun retail will change after the Christchurch shooting

In the wake of an appalling attack, public sentiment around guns sales has changed. NZ Retail and The Register editor and associate publisher Sarah Dunn considers how gun retailers can work with the community in this new environment.

Read more
Sponsored content

Protect against porch pirates: The Courier Box

Necessity is the mother of innovation, and this is certainly the case for The Courier Box designer and developer Joanna Steel.


How did that happen: Customisable Products

  • News
  • March 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How did that happen: Customisable Products

According to the Forbes 2018 trend report consumers are increasingly searching for personalization of products, services, and experiences. From wallets, phone cases, apparel, pet accessories, plates, bedding, and even number plates, if it can be purchased, it can be monogrammed, personalized, and used as a display of our individualism.

Read more

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.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Here we go again

  • Opinion
  • March 14, 2019
  • Satish Ranchhod
Here we go again

After losing some steam over 2018, another year of moderate growth in retail spending is on the cards for 2019.

Read more

Kathmandu security breach may have captured customer data

  • News
  • March 14, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Kathmandu security breach may have captured customer data

Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu is investigating a suspected customer data breach on its trading websites.

Read more

Briscoe Group notches another record annual result

  • News
  • March 14, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Briscoe Group notches another record annual result

Briscoe Group has reported a record full year profit after a surge of sales going into the Chirstmas shopping season.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit