Quake-prone store shuts

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Kathmandu chief executive Peter Halkett said the company's objectives were to have a temporary site trading before Christmas. Photo / Natalie Slade
Kathmandu chief executive Peter Halkett said the company's objectives were to have a temporary site trading before Christmas. Photo / Natalie Slade

Kathmandu has closed its store in Dickens St, Napier, after a report by structural engineers deemed it earthquake prone.

The company said yesterday the report resulted from a review of Kathmandu's entire store portfolio undertaken throughout 2013, in conjunction with its landlords.

The Napier store had a preliminary assessment as being potentially earthquake prone, and after that assessment a detailed engineering report was undertaken. It had confirmed the building was earthquake prone, the company said.

After receiving the engineering report from the store landlord, the company was urgently searching for alternative temporary premises in Napier.

"If this option isn't available Kathmandu may be unable to trade in Napier for a period of time until a new permanent site in the city is found that complies with New Building Standards," it said.

Kathmandu chief executive Peter Halkett said the company's objectives were to have a temporary site trading before Christmas and a new permanent store in Napier open by no later than mid-2014.

Mr Halkett said that as part of the programme of store site review, there was an absolute commitment to staff and customer safety, coupled with an objective of giving continuity of employment to staff.

"We are fortunate to have another recently built, structurally sound store in close proximity in Hastings.

"It is possible that staff from Napier can be relocated to Hastings, as was the case when Kathmandu's Wanganui store was found to be earthquake prone and people were relocated to nearby Palmerston North," he said.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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