Tim Donaldson, general manager retail, Foodstuffs South Island, confirmed on Monday that New World Wānaka was “going through the process” of reducing staff roles from 134 to 105, and full-time staff hours from 42.5 to 40 per week.
This was to enable the store on Dunmore Street “to be sustainable and continue to provide employment in the future,” he said.
“Close to the heart of the town centre, New World Wānaka’s customer base has traditionally been a mix of international and domestic tourists, local residents and the business community,” said Donaldson. “Like many businesses in New Zealand, the shutting down of international borders has had a significant impact on the number of customers shopping at the store.
“Due to the reduction in customers at New World Wānaka, the store predicts a significant reduction in turnover for the foreseeable future, which means the owners, who took ownership of the store in August 2019, have been left with no option but to reassess staff numbers and the other costs associated with running the store.
“For some weeks now, the team at New World Wānaka have been working reduced hours while remaining on full pay – a commitment the owners have tried to maintain for as long as possible,” he said.
Donaldson said that it had been a “very tough decision to make,” but that reducing hours also had “the positive benefit of allowing the store to keep an additional six staff members employed.”
He added that the team remained optimistic about the future of the store and, with the ski season and school holidays around the corner, were “looking forward to continuing to serve customers in the Wānaka community.”
Read edition 979 of the Wānaka Sun here.