Cash flow, Finance

Dick Smith fire sale to start today: What the store closures mean for the retailer’s 2400 employees

Broede Carmody /

Dick Smith’s fire sale starts today, less than 24 hours after all employees were told they would be out of a job in the next few weeks.

The collapsed retailer’s stock realisation sale will see prices on most products initially slashed by around 30%, with prices set to fall even further if not enough stock is cleared.

SmartCompany understands Dick Smith employees cannot use their staff discounts for the sale.

The electronic chain’s receivers, Ferrier Hodgson, have engaged international stock realisation specialist Hilco to manage the heavy discounting.

Hilco has handled some of the largest recovery maximisation projects in Europe, including winding-up failed UK book retailer Borders.

“Over the next two days your store will receive sale signage and further instructions from representatives of Hilco,” Ferrier Hodgson told employees yesterday.

“The closure process will take approximately eight weeks to complete and the timing of individual store closures will be dependent on the outcome of the stock realisation sale. We will endeavour to provide you with as much notice as possible of the exact date that your store will close.”

Dick Smith has 301 stores remaining in Australia, with approximately 2460 staff affected by the store closures.

There are 62 Dick Smith stores in New Zealand employing around 430 people. These will also cease trading in the next few weeks.

The company’s receivers decided to wind up the business after a suitable buyer could not be found, less than two months after Dick Smith collapsed into voluntary administration.

What the store closures mean for Dick Smith employees

Dick Smith employees were told yesterday they will be given a formal notice of redundancy in the coming weeks, according to a letter seen by SmartCompany.

“You are required to attend all of your rostered shifts until your final date of employment unless otherwise advised,” the letter to employees reads.

“If you resign from your position before you are given notice of your redundancy, you will be required to work through your notice period, unless otherwise advised and you will not be entitled to a redundancy payment.”

All staff entitlements accrued during the receivership will be paid out when employees receive their final pay cheques.

Pre-receivership entitlements, such as superannuation and annual leave accrued up to January 4, will become priority unsecured claims and are expected to be paid out in full after the wind-down process has been completed.

Employees who expect to face financial hardship after being made redundant are being encouraged to contact Centrelink or a confidential counselling service.

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Broede Carmody

Broede Carmody is a former senior reporter at SmartCompany. Previously, he was a co-editor of RMIT University's student magazine Catalyst.

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