Cellnet is set to lay off about 60 percent of its local warehouse and logistics staff as the end of its distribution contract with Telecom looms at the end of September.
About 30 of the approximately 50-strong warehouse team will go, but the sales and administration staff within the New Zealand business won’t be affected, says Australian-based managing director Stephen Harrison.
“[The redundancies] have been provisioned for and staff have been told a while ago,” he says, adding some people had joined a new warehouse established by Brightstar, the US-headquartered supply chain giant that has been phasing in its relationship with Telecom to replace Cellnet.
Harrison says the Telecom contract loss will significantly reduce turnover, but Cellnet still has a $30 million business locally and is committed to growing its operation here.
“We’ll continue the relationship with Telecom on accessories. The good thing is we’re now a neutral player, as opposed to being aligned with Telecom.
“We’ve approached a number of GSM outlets and Vodafone, and have approached some retailers. We’re looking at growing the business on the accessories side, where we started the business from.”
In addition to accessories, Cellnet wants to expand its portfolio of New Zealand IT vendors, possibly by adding a printer agency, Harrison says.
Cellnet recently posted a net loss of A$4.6 million (NZ$ 5.4 million) for the year to June 30, but does not separate New Zealand numbers from these results. Its year-on-year revenue fell from A$548 to A$439 million ($648 to $519 million) during this time.
Harrison recently told Australian Reseller News that the distributor was now debt free and had set up an internal sales and marketing team in Australia.