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Pumpkin Patch staff face uncertain future after no buyer emerges

  • News
  • November 24, 2016
  • Sarah Dunn
Pumpkin Patch staff face uncertain future after no buyer emerges

Receiver Brendon Gibson from KordaMentha says all stock will be sold and the business is to be wound down.

This week will see the loss of 63 staff from Pumpkin Patch’s head office. Gibson says these staff will receive holiday pay and outstanding wages, but indicated to Stuff that redundancy claims would not be met.

First Union has called on KordaMentha to guarantee that the workers will receive their full entitlements. It has also revealed that some workers have found their health insurance coverage is at risk after Pumpkin Patch allowed their premiums to go unpaid for the year August 2016-17.

“Honestly things are going from bad to worse for head office and distribution centre workers at Pumpkin Patch,” says First Union organiser Lisa Meto Fox. “As if job losses weren’t enough, now those who had insurance cover paid for by Pumpkin Patch have learned they might not have coverage after all. If this is the case that means people are going to miss out on things like health insurance.”

“This reinforces the need for redundancy payments to help support people who are being put out of work. The receivers should do the right thing and commit to meeting all of the workers’ entitlements.”

Flight Centre NZ revealed today it had been in touch with Pumpkin Patch’s HR department offering to fast-track former Pumpkin Patch employees into the travel industry. It says retail expansion, newly-acquired businesses and growing profits have created a number of vacancies at Flight Centre.

“We sympathise with the tough position these employees are in and recognise that they have good customer service skills and sale experience that would make them an asset to our company," says Flight Centre NZ peopleworks leader Michaela Connor. 

Flight Centre will fast-track outgoing Pumpkin Patch staff to the final stages of its hiring process, and offers a training programme to help them learn the ropes of the travel industry.

As of early November, Pumpkin Patch had about 1000 staff based in Australia and 600 staff based in New Zealand. The closure of 27 stores in Australia and seven stores in New Zealand was actioned earlier this month, with job losses of up to 145 people.

Gibson told the NBR on Tuesday it was too soon to say when individual stores would close, but KordaMentha’s intention was all would remain trading until the end of the year. The liquidation process would likely take until February to complete, he said.

All Pumpkin Patch stock is now on sale. The company has confirmed via its Facebook page that all gift vouchers will be honoured on a "dollar for dollar" basis: "For example, a $40 purchase can be paid for with a $20 gift voucher and $20 cash; a $100 purchase with a $50 gift voucher and $50 cash etc. You do not have to use all of your voucher at once."

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Coastlands celebrates 50 years in business

  • Opinion
  • November 13, 2019
  • Jennie Gutry
Coastlands celebrates 50 years in business

Coastlands Shoppingtown in Paraparaumu is celebrating its 50th year in business. Coastlands 50th birthday event manager Jennie Gutry shares some reflections on the centre's early years.

Read more
 
 

Me|today pairing skincare and supplements launches

  • News
  • November 13, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Me|today pairing skincare and supplements launches

Consumers are often highly engaged with the brand that produces their skincare products, but less so when it comes to supplements. The idea behind me|today, a start-up selling paired product in both categories, is to leverage that engagement.

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Michael Hill to offer lab-grown diamonds in New Zealand

  • News
  • November 11, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Michael Hill to offer lab-grown diamonds in New Zealand

Traditionally, prospective proposers should spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. It should be a diamond solitaire, ideally one carat or bigger. However, in a market where many younger shoppers are struggling with student debt, concerned about housing affordability and suspicious of mined diamonds’ ethical credentials, Michael Hill has moved with the times and introduced an alternative.

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Winners of the 2019 Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards announced

  • News
  • November 11, 2019
  • The Register team
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Yealands Wine Group appoints Tiffani Graydon as CEO

  • Who's Where
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  • The Register team
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Ziera likely to close all its stores after no buyer found

  • News
  • November 8, 2019
  • The Register team
Ziera likely to close all its stores after no buyer found

After trading under administration for some six weeks, Ziera has announced that as no buyer interested in purchasing the whole of the business has been found, it’s entering a ‘closing down sale phase’.

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