Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Eleven local Dick Smith staff lose jobs

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Eleven local Dick Smith staff have lost their jobs after receivers decided to shut the doors on the troubled electronics retail chain, but some staff have already received job offers.

Despite a significant number of expressions of interest from local and overseas parties, the sale process had not resulted in an acceptable offer, receivers Ferrier Hodgson said.

Dick Smith Group, which collapsed last month, has resulted in the closure of 301 stores in Australia and 62 outlets in New Zealand.

Read more: Bay Dick Smith stores to join mass closure

Dick Smith collapsed into receivership on January 5 owing roughly A$140 million ($150 million) to secured creditors, including HSBC and National Australia Bank, plus around A$250 million to unsecured creditors.

The stores would be closed over the next eight weeks, affecting 2890 staff, including 430 in New Zealand - which included five at the Elizabeth St store and six at the Mount Maunganui branch.

A staff member at the Owens Place branch, who did not wish to be named, told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend that it was a huge blow to the five staff, and the manager.

That included two employees who had worked at the store for about eight years, they said.

"It's sad but fortunately there has been plenty of viable offers of employment coming in from different local businesses and staff are still considering those offers," the staff member said.

Dick Smith Elizabeth St branch manager referred our inquiries to the receivers.

The receivers said Dick Smith staff will now move to liquidate the remaining stock.

There were plenty of specials to be had with items marked down considerably.

A sign in the window at the Owens Place branch read: "TECH-Riffic Deals", that included a JVC 50 inch LED TV selling for $999, marked down from $1299, beside a sign which stated 'Our Cheapest Ever'

Gary Haakma from Apata, who visited the Elizabeth St store yesterday, said he had been a Dick Smith customer for about 10 years.

"It's sad for the staff but it's just the reality of the business world today, really.

"Dick Smith sells so many products which are in demand so hopefully the staff will quickly find alternative work."

A spokesperson for the receivers told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend that the 11 staff employed at the two local branches could expect to be paid all their entitlements, and had preferential claims ahead of any creditors, the spokesperson said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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