80 jobs in retail outlet
NEARLY THERE: Beau Harrison, of Hill Construction Ltd, which is putting the finishing touches on the new 5000sq m Kmart building. PHOTO/JOHN STONE
The rumours are true - Kmart is coming to Whangarei and bringing up to 80 jobs when it opens at Okara Shopping Centre in November.
The big-box retailer is now recruiting for staff for the 5000sq m store, across from Countdown and within close proximity to its biggest competitor in the city - Warehouse Extra.
Jason Picard, zone manager for Kmart New Zealand, said the company, which has 16 stores nationwide, had confidence in the Whangarei economy and was sure its place in the Northland market would be safe.
Between 60 and 80 jobs are up for grabs with full-time and casual retail positions, as well as seasonal or vacation positions.
Staff are needed in the clothing and beauty departments, as well as service areas and the stockroom.
Although Mr Picard said he could not comment directly on Kmart's competition at Okara, he said Kmart offered "low prices and good quality products".
"The Whangarei store will carry over 50,000 products which are not available anywhere else. We looked at the competition and our model and we think we will serve
our market well."
The retailer will carry goods such as women's, men's and children's clothing, household goods, toys, cosmetics, sporting and outdoor goods, hardware and stationary.
It will also have a photo centre.
"We will be opened from 8am to midnight, seven days a week, allowing busy Northland families to get some shopping in after work."
The job vacancies were listed on listings website Seek.co.nz on August 25 and applications close on Monday.
It is expected that interviews for the positions will take place on September 9 and 10, with staff taking up employment in October for training programmes and store preparation.
Many of the part-time roles, Mr Picard said, were for 30-hour shifts, and more than a dozen full-time roles were available. "Three of the five managers that we have recruited are also from this area," he said.
The company was also working with Work and Income in Whangarei to help job seekers apply for Kmart positions.
"Many of our employees have come from Winz, or other companies."
Hill Construction Ltd is still working on the store, due to open in late November.
The Kmart chain was founded in America in 1899, arriving in Australia in 1968 and Henderson in Auckland in 1988.