Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last week that the nation would move into alert level 4, non-essential businesses across the country have prepared and since moved into closure. For some of these companies, the unfortunate truth is that this nationwide lockdown spells financial turmoil, with the most prominent name in this category being The Warehouse.
Across New Zealand, our big red superstores are in disarray, as despite initial public belief, it was made clear by Jacinda the chain would not be exempt from a trading halt. Realising the loss of jobs and financial damage this would cause to the already bruised and battered company, their executive refused to go down without a kicking and screaming fight. In a desperate effort to get the place where everyone gets a bargain recognized as an essential service, The Warehouse has announced drastic changes to its catalogue, which Craccum can outline for you today.
What remains one of the oddest mainstays of their bargain stores, The Warehouse has never shied away from wanting to be highbrow for 10m2 of its entire floor plan, with an out-of-place jewelry section a consistent fixture in most stores. However, with jewelry not being an essential purchase, the chain needs a new high-end product to sell. Under mounting pressure, the company decided to trade their entire stockpile of jewelry items in for a fresh shipment of toilet paper to every store. The new deliveries are being watched 24/7 by a security guard you could have sworn you saw on New Zealand Idol.
Evidently, during this difficult time for the nation, the utmost priority of the chain is keeping their employees safe throughout this time of crisis. If The Warehouse were to remain open, social distancing rules would be difficult to enforce inside such a large facility, and thus further measures would need to be taken to prioritize safety of workers. With no one having purchased anything from the DVD section in the last 10 years, the entire collection will just be stacked to form a social distancing fortress, where workers can only be reached through confusing intercom messages. Staff are confident this fortress will be impenetrable as no-one would ever pick up a DVD from The Warehouse.
With the airline business in the middle of a rapid decline, many employees are out of work at the New Zealand airline giant. By taking their staff temporarily under contract, The Warehouse can not only help keep one of New Zealand’s (traditionally) strongest performing companies solvent, but also keep their plants fresh for whenever the next person chooses not to buy them. It’s a win for everyone!
With the recent frenzy of domestic flights transporting New Zealanders home prior to and during lockdown, The Warehouse have made it their duty of care to keep all passengers in the air safe. Therefore, they have rolled out their ‘Air New Zealand survival kit’ across stores nationwide. This comprehensive travel kit includes a little whistle from the toys section, a Dan Carter autobiography you never asked to read, and also a tent you can pitch to socially distance yourself from other passengers. A kit that’s sure to make any Healthline call-centre worker jealous when they contact-trace a confirmed case back to you, it’s only available at The Warehouse while this corona thing lasts.
I mean, look, the whole thing is a mess anyways. I know The Warehouse used to be a New Zealand institution, but then Kmart came along and we all stopped giving a fuck. We don’t need the negativity of a store closing at 8pm in our lives, 24-hour Kmart can have all my money. Send a tradie with a blowtorch up there and let’s just bulldoze it down and open a new drive-thru testing clinic in its place.