15 Jun 2011

NZ Pumpkin Patch jobs under threat

8:42 pm on 15 June 2011

Jobs are under threat at Pumpkin Patch in New Zealand after the children's clothing retailer announced on Wednesday it plans to close down under-performing stores in the US and scale down its business in Britain.

The National Distribution Union says about 50 staff at the head office and distribution centre in Auckland have been given notice that they could be made redundant.

Pumpkin Patch says its 20 stores in the United States are unsustainable, given the poor state of the retail market, and will close over the next six months.

Chief executive Maurice Prendergast says there will definitely be job losses.

"There'll be a 100 jobs lost in the US, which is obviously most of the workforce there. We'll also obviously have some effects here back at our head office.

"We employ about 380 people at head office, and we expect about 15% will be affected by the changes we are doing in the US and the UK."

Mr Prendergast says Pumpkin Patch will concentrate on its wholesale business in the US and an internet site it launched a year ago.