The Warehouse Group, which this morning announced it had almost doubled half-year profit as a result of selling properties, says it will disestablish the Bond and Bond electronics retail chain next month and merge it into the larger Noel Leeming network.
New Zealand's biggest listed retailer acquired Noel Leeming Group, which also operates the Bond & Bond chain, for $65 million in December.
The Warehouse said 24 Bond and Bond stores and one Noel Leeming store were affected by the merger.
In a statement released this morning, the company said eight Bond and Bond stores will become Noel Leeming stores, while 4 will be combined into expanded Noel Leeming stores.
Twelve Bond and Bond stores and one Noel Leeming store will close.
The Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell said the merger was the result of a thorough strategy review following the acquisition, which determined that Bond and Bond was not sufficiently differentiated and had too few stores to operate separately.
"The decision will ensure clear focus on the Noel Leeming stores which offer a solid platform for growth as New Zealand's number one electronics retailer," said Powell.
He said that while Bond and Bond would cease operation as a retail chain, it would maintain an online presence.
All non-management Bond and Bond staff would be offered comparable roles with Noel Leeming, while "every effort" would be made to offer Bond and Bond store managers suitable roles within Noel Leeming or the wider group, Powell said.
"Support office team members that have roles that support both brands will now focus exclusively on the Noel Leeming brand," he said. "Team members affected by the changes will be fully consulted with a goal of effecting the merger on April 2, 2013."
Powell said the decision to discontinue Bond and Bond had not been made lightly, with the brand having been part of the country's retail landscape since 1875.By Christopher Adams Email Christopher