Eighteen people are expected to lose their jobs after a 53-year-old New Zealand flooring company owed $250,000 by failed construction firm Mainzeal went into liquidation today.
The shareholders of Hills Flooring, which employs 18 staff and has offices in Rosedale and Otahuhu, have today appointed liquidators Jeff Meltzer and Mike Lamacraft.
While there were several factors behind this decision, a tough retail market and the debt from Mainzeal took a toll on the business, Meltzer said.
Six staff have been let go today and Meltzer told the Herald that the other 12 will be kept on for "a short period" for a final liquidation sale next weekend and while stock was transferred to customers.
"Within two to three weeks we would have wound down the operation" he said.
After that time, Meltzer said he expected all 18 staff would be made redundant.
The company's North Shore office would be closing today, he said.
"The company will be able to meet its terms with its bank, and all outstanding staff wages and holiday allowances will be paid. The stock already bought and paid for by customers is secure and will be received by them. All customers will be contacted by the Liquidators to arrange collection of their purchases," Meltzer said.
Hills Flooring was started as a family business over half a century ago. A current director is one of the founder's sons.
The directors, David Hill and Peter Macshane, said in a statement:
We appreciate the news will come as a shock to our staff and customers, and we want to reassure them that we will honour our obligations. We are very grateful for their loyalty over many decades - this is a company that has grown through repeat business and word-of-mouth, and we regret that we are not able to continue as we have, due to a number of pressures that are outside our control."
Former managing director George Hill released a statement this afternoon saying he regretted the voluntary liquidation announcement.
"Hills Flooring has been run by my family for 50 years and it's sad to see such a turn of events from this industry stalwart," he said.