The Warehouse Group

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For other uses, see Warehouse (disambiguation).
The Warehouse
Type Public (NZX: WHS)
Industry Retail (department & discount)
Founded North Shore, New Zealand, 1982
Headquarters North Shore, New Zealand
Key people Stephen Tindall, Founder
Mark Powell, CEO
Products The Warehouse
Warehouse Stationery
Noel Leeming
Bond & Bond
Revenue Decrease NZ$1,735,030,000 (2007–08)[1]
Operating income Decrease NZ$134,687,000 (2007–08)[1]
Profit Decrease NZ$90,769,000 (2007–08)[1]
Total assets NZ$654,937,000 (2007–08)[1]
Total equity NZ$334,656,000 (2007–08)[1]
Employees 14,800
Website www.thewarehouse.co.nz

The Warehouse Group Limited, (NZX: WHS) founded by Stephen Tindall in 1982, is the largest retail group operating in New Zealand. The Warehouse Group (TW Group) consists of The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and a Multi-Channel Business unit featuring sites like Torpedo7, 1-day, Red Alert, Shotgun.co.nz and pet.co.nz to name a few.


Milestones[edit]

  • 1982: First store opens in Takapuna, Auckland.
  • 1988: Second store opens in Market St, Hastings
  • 1990: First nationally distributed advertising "mailer'.
  • 1991: Sales exceed $100 million.
  • 1991: First Warehouse Stationery store is opened.
  • 1992: Launch of The Warehouse card.
  • 1995: The Warehouse added to the New Zealand Stock Exchange, under the symbol TWH.
  • 1996: Opening of a North Island Distribution centre.
  • 1996: The largest Warehouse store at the time in Invercargill opens and local businesses suffer creating a large amount of empty shops in the city.
  • 1998: Introduction of apparel as major department.
  • 2000: The Warehouse is added to the NZSE 10 index.
  • 2000: Sales exceed $1 billion.
  • 2002: The Warehouse celebrates 20 years in operation.
  • 2002: The Warehouse opens in Te Kuiti.
  • 2003: The Warehouse Australia brand is launched, with a total of 126 stores.
  • 2004: The Warehouse signifies overall brand change and store format change.
  • 2005: Lab store launched in the Hamilton suburb of Te Rapa.
  • 2005: Warehouse brand relaunched with new lower-case logo and TV ads softened.
  • 2005: The Warehouse signifies its intention to enter the liquor market.
  • 2005: The Warehouse announces it will pull out of its Australian operation by Christmas.[2]
  • 2005: The Warehouse Australia sold for A$92 million (NZ$99m).
  • 2006: The Warehouse begins selling alcoholic beverages in selected stores. Invercargill and Gore stores are excluded from selling alcohol due to local licensing laws.
  • 2006: The Warehouse launches the first of its new format stores branded 'The Warehouse Extra' at Sylvia Park, Auckland. The offer includes full grocery as well as a pharmacy, bakery and photo processing.
  • 2007: The Warehouse celebrate their 25th birthday and to mark the occasion release 13,000 balloons, causing concerns from environmentalists.[3][4]
  • 2008: The Warehouse abandons its full-scale grocery arm operating under the name 'The Warehouse Extra', converting or reverting the few stores involved to the standard format.[5]
  • 2009: The first smaller-concept store, The Warehouse Local, opens in Mosgiel.[6]
  • 2010: The Warehouse opens a brand new store (now one of the country's largest) in Gisborne. It is the first large format store since the opening of The Warehouse Sylvia Park in 2006.[7]
  • 2012: The Warehouse ceases its instore pharmacy offer.
  • 2012: The Warehouse in Hastings is rebuilt as one of New Zealand's largest. The old Warehouse on Market St goes up for sale.
  • 2012: The Warehouse announces it is buying electronics retailer The Noel Leeming Group for $65 million.[8][9]
  • 2013: TW Group hold Click Madness, a one day online only sale across all brands in the group.

Business[edit]

"The Warehouse" logo used up to 2006. No stores in New Zealand use this version anymore. All stores in Australia used this logo until they were renamed in 2008.

The Warehouse operates discount retail department stores selling a broad range of non-grocery and grocery products. As of January 2005, The Warehouse employed 7,531 people in New Zealand. The Warehouse's corporate headquarters are located in North Shore, New Zealand.

Apart from retail locations, it operates 2 distribution centres located in Wiri, New Zealand and in Rolleston, New Zealand.

In addition to its own operations, it also owns various brand names that are located within the stores. It has gardening facilities located in Auckland, Hamilton and in Christchurch. Along with its gardening brand Just, it also operates nearly 30 "in-company" brands.

The Warehouse is publicly traded on the New Zealand Stock Exchange with the security code WHS (TWH was used previously).[10]

Competition[edit]

The Warehouse's chief competitors in the national retail scene include Farmers (lowscale department stores), Kmart (discount department stores) the Briscoes Group (discounted sports and homeware store chains) and Super Cheap Auto (automotive products).

Criticism[edit]

The Warehouse has been criticised for poor products and has had product recalls of items they exclusively sell. A recent example is a brand of cycle helmets sold at The Warehouse that had the insulation detach from the shell of the helmet. As a result all helmets were recalled and customers who purchased these helmets asked to return for a refund.[11][12]

More recently The Warehouse was blamed for the closure of Sounds Music stores as well as illegal downloading of music.[13] The management of The Warehouse dispute these claims.

In May 2007 to mark the 25th Birthday of The Warehouse the company released 13,000 balloons from Dairy Flat. This sparked concerns from the Department of Conservation and other environmentalists as the balloons have been known to endanger wildlife.[3][4]

In December 2007 a Whangarei woman lost her job at The Warehouse after leaving the comment on her Bebo page saying "work sux" and that having to work to midnight was "gay like the management."[14]

In December 2009 it was announced that The Warehouse staff would be taking industrial action due to issues with staff having their hours extended to 50 hour weeks in the lead up to Christmas and staff having to work late at night.[15]

Return Policy[edit]

The company operates a comprehensive returns policy. A "money back guarantee" policy (returns accepted for any reason) is available on most products, excluding underwear, pre-recorded media and perishable products. Some industry observers[who?] believe this is why The Warehouse has been so popular in New Zealand. This concept has not worked in Australia, particularly due to the fact that there are many other more well-established department store chains (K-Mart, Target, Big W). Australian stores no longer advertise a "money back guarantee." In late 2005, The Warehouse Group announced its decision to close its Australian arm.[16]

Australian operation[edit]

In 2000, the company entered the Australian retail market. It acquired the Clint's Crazy Bargains and Silly Solly's retail chains. At the time of purchase, those chains had around 117 stores.[17]

In 2003 the company built a $33 million (AUD) distribution centre in Queensland, to service the country. Later that year, the company introduced its Tui[disambiguation needed] and Tolas inventory management systems from New Zealand.

As of 2005, the Australian arm was still under-performing. Sales for 2005 were at $518.8 million (AUD), compared with $567.3 million (AUD) in 2004. The Warehouse Group Limited announced in November, 2005 that it had entered into a conditional agreement to sell The Warehouse Australia business to Catalyst Investment Managers and its parent PPM Capital Limited (together, Catalyst) and Castle Harlan Australian Mezzanine Partners, acting on behalf of the CHAMP I and CHAMP II funds (CHAMP) for A$92 million (NZ$99m). The new entity was known as Australian Discount Retail (ADR). As part of the transaction, The Warehouse Australia's Sydney Head Office would be sold to Investec Wentworth Specialised Property Trust. While the effective date for the transaction was to be 27 November 2005, completion of the sale was expected in early 2006 and was subject to normal regulatory approvals.

At its formation ADR also purchased the discount store operations of Miller's Retail, including the Go-Lo, Crazy Clark's and Chickenfeed (Tasmania) chains. There were 335 such stores at the time of sale.

After the sale of the Australian operation, Warehouse stores were renamed Sam's Warehouse.[18]

Hypermarkets[edit]

In June 2006, "The Warehouse Extra" opened at Sylvia Park, Auckland. It was the first of a planned chain of hypermarkets, at 135,000 sq ft (12,500 sq m). In a similar fashion to the Wal-Mart Supercenters of the United States, the foodmarket department aisles are placed at a perpendicular angle to the general merchandise. It is the first store to feature an in-store bakery, pharmacy and cafe, and instead of the usual tall industrial shelving, a more conventional store shelving system has been used. The store also features a lot less red than in traditional stores, but the familiar concrete floor still exists. The next branches of "The Warehouse Extra" were in Whangarei and Te Rapa in Hamilton. In October 2008 The Warehouse announced that they will be canning "The Warehouse Extra" format with stores reverting to the more traditional style of store coming months.[5] There were four of The Warehouse Extra in Auckland (Albany, Manukau, Sylvia Park and Westgate). Today "The Warehouse Extra" brand is used on larger traditional stores nationwide, with many existing large stores have taken on "The Warehouse Extra" branding such as those in Lyall Bay (Wellington), Riccarton (Christchurch), South Dunedin and Palmerston North. Stores carrying "The Warehouse Extra" brand are typically larger, open later and carry a greater range than regular stores.

The Warehouse Local[edit]

Street view of Mosgiel's Warehouse Local store.

On Thursday 23 July 2009, The Warehouse Group opened the first of its smaller-concept stores, The Warehouse Local, in Mosgiel. These stores are approximately 2000 square metres in size, compared with the usual 5000 square meters seen in larger locations. These stores also have single checkout counters, doing without dedicated Service, Jewellery and Entertainment counters which are present in most other stores. Another 3 stores are intended to be launched per year, following this concept, over the next five years.[6] This will give The Warehouse a chance to have market domination in smaller towns as well as the larger towns and cities in New Zealand. While the "Local" naming is no longer used, smaller stores in Rolleston and St Lukes have opened using the smaller format.

Financial results[edit]

The Warehouse went public in 1995. Since then the stock has climbed from $1.29 to $5.54 in 2005. During 2005, the stock dropped dramatically due to worse than expected results from the Australian operation.[19]

However, the company has not been without success. It is New Zealand's largest retailer and one of the largest companies in New Zealand in terms of annual revenue. It is well ahead of its nearest compeititors Briscoes and Farmers in terms of sales.[citation needed] Various different explanations have been offered for this:[who?]

  • The Warehouse has always had an approach of "cheap prices everyday, all the time". Or its actual slogan "where everyone gets a bargain".
  • The Warehouse benefits from economies of scale in manufacturing and logistics; the purchase of massive quantities from its suppliers combined with a very efficient stock control system help make The Warehouse's operating costs lower than that of its competitors.
  • One particular aspect of the economy of scale is the aggregation effect, used in other businesses such as Bin Inn and Countdown, whereby The Warehouse sells as many different items as possible. This allows the company to grow revenue over its fixed cost base (more sales out of the same store). This is why The Warehouse began to sell low margin groceries.

Statistics[edit]

Retail operations[edit]

The Warehouse operates 3 major formats under 3 different divisions:

  • The Warehouse New Zealand (Red Sheds)
    • Average 80,000 square feet (7,400 square metres) and include a selection of general merchandise, including apparel, electronics, health and beauty aids, toys, sporting goods and household products. Also includes large gardening departments, along with music and entertainment.
"Warehouse Stationery" logo
  • Warehouse Stationery (Blue Sheds)
  • Average 30–40,000 square feet (2800–3700 square metres) and include a large selection of stationery, computers, printers and computer/office products.
"Noel Leeming" logo

Operated under Noel Leeming Group division:

  • Noel Leeming
    • Flagship electronics brand
    • Appliance and electronics stores

Store counts & revenue[edit]

  • Company Total: 253(NZ$2.225 billion)
    • The Warehouse NZ stores: 87
    • The Warehouse Australian stores: 126 (No longer owned by TWH Group)
    • Warehouse Stationery stores: 47
    • Noel Leeming stores: 59
    • Bond & Bond stores: 24 (closing down, merging or rebranding into Noel Leemings)

Key employees[edit]

Executive Board
Mark Powell Group Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Tindall Founder
Directors
John Avery Director
Robert Challinor Director
John Dahlsen Director
Graham Evans Director

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "The Warehouse 2008 Annual Report". 27 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  2. ^ Chan, Karen (2005-12-11). "Yellow Sheds sale could fetch $90 million". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  3. ^ a b Gregory, Angela (2007-05-10). "Warehouse balloons raise wrath of wildlife supporters". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  4. ^ a b Gregory, Angela (2007-05-24). "Warehouse balloons tint Great Barrier Island red". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  5. ^ a b "The Warehouse to can Extra stores". TVNZ. 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Mosgiel Warehouse gets shopper approval". Otago Daily Times. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  7. ^ "Gisborne's latest News, Sport, Family Notices, Photos and Events". The Gisborne Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  8. ^ "Warehouse buys Noel Leeming chain for $65m". NZ Herald. December 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Warehouse hopes Noel Leeming a bargain". 3 News NZ. December 11, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Warehouse founder wants to buy all Red Sheds". The New Zealand Herald. 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  11. ^ "Dangerous Helmets". Campbell Live (TV3). 2007-06-07. 
  12. ^ "Consumer Calls For Cycle Helmet Recall". newswire.co.nz. 2007-06-07. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "Work comment "sux"". Newstalk ZB. 2007-12-19. 
  15. ^ "Warehouse staff to strike". NZ Herald. 2009-12-02. 
  16. ^ "Warehouse keeps options open on Millers". The New Zealand Herald. 2005-09-15. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  17. ^ "Australian Business & World Finance News - Yahoo!7 Finance". Au.biz.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  18. ^ "Coming Soon: Sam's Warehouse". 
  19. ^ Chan, Karen (10 September 2005). "Aussie Write-off hits Warehouse". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 

External links[edit]

Share price

Warehouse corporate sites

Financial results

Sources/articles