National hardware giant Mitre 10 is laying off staff at its Albany support centre.

The news comes during the Easter holiday weekend – usually one of the outlet's busiest periods of the year.

Just how many jobs are on the line is not yet clear.

First Union has been approached for comment.

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Mitre 10 says it's only delivering a small fraction of pre-lockdown revenue.
Mitre 10 says it's only delivering a small fraction of pre-lockdown revenue.

Mitre 10 chief executive Chris Wilesmith confirmed to the Herald today that 5 per cent of the Mitre 10 support centre team had been on fixed-term contracts, working on projects that "would have concluded naturally in time with the project outcome".

"Following recent conversations and engagement with these team members, they are now working out their notice period earlier than planned," he said.

Wilesmith said the company only had a "very limited offering" of essential goods online and trade supplies for essential services operating during the coronavirus alert level 4 lockdown to "help keep people warm, safe and healthy".

However, it was only delivering a small fraction of pre-lockdown revenue, and Wilesmith said that, along with many other businesses in the retail sector, it had "been forced to carefully consider opportunities to reduce costs until we can reopen our stores to the public".

"As part of that process, we have identified projects that can be paused temporarily or concluded early," he said.

"Regrettably, this decision has meant that, in a small number of cases, we have had to bring forward the natural end date of the fixed-term contract roles supporting these projects.

"We are working closely with the team over the coming weeks to explore all options and provide every support as they continue working through their notice periods."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

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All Mitre 10 and Mitre 10 MEGA stores, which are independently-owned and operated, are closed to the public during the lockdown.

Existing trade customers can order trade supplies for essential services online and by phone for contactless collection, and the public can order essential goods online for contactless home delivery.