Sustainable and affordable? The rank hypocrisy of the new Warehouse TV advert


The balls on these guys eh?

Sustainable and affordable? That’s the new catch cry of the Warehouse right after they gut 1000 jobs from their workforce?

‘Where everyone gets a bargain’ seems cruel when you are in the headlines for slashing jobs after taking the wage subsidy payment. It might make the consumer think, ‘Am I getting a bargain because they are cutting staff’?.

We don’t want those questions asked when buying cheap imported goods from China, instead ‘Sustainable AND Affordable’ gives us all that special greenwash glow that makes us feel unfettered late stage capitalism consumerism can still happen on a planet burning to a crisp thanks to climate change.

It’s funny that the Warehouse launch this ‘Sustainable and affordable’ slogan just as they slash jobs and with an obvious eye to the new zeitgeist of a Labour-Green win at the ballot box. What did they have in mind as a slogan if National had won? ‘Callous & Fat Shaming’?

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I love how in the advert they have calculated how much in charity they’ve given since 1982, which doesn’t highlight their philanthropy, it just reeks of desperation of a company trying to downplay mass job losses.


We’ve moved from the fake egalitarian ‘where everyone gets a bargain’ to the sophistry of a soft greenwashed ‘Sustainable and affordable’ catch cry.

This is surely the moment when NZ says, ‘Ok, no more. No. You are breaking the ‘everyone gets a bargain’ deal we cut with you in 1982.

The deal went like this.

We would accept the Warehouse gutting all the local stores and destroying community retailing by allowing the Tindall family to import giga tones of cheap shit from overseas IF and only IF they employed huge numbers of people who wouldn’t normally be able to get a job anywhere else.

They were granted their opportunity to destroy local retailing on the understanding they hired people with minimum skill sets.

That was the unspoken deal as NZ went into the throws of the neoliberal deregulation free market revolution.

Fast forward to 2020 and the Warehouse’s vast free market supply chain is not only part of the vector for the Covid virus, it’s part of the problem of unsustainable naked consumerism.

With the Warehouse dumping jobs, no one is getting a bargain and claiming that ill made imported products are somehow ‘sustainable’ is eye rolling.

Pretending to be sustainable and affordable as they lay waste to the jobs they are supposed to provide should force everyone who cares about sustainability to question shopping there because if the Warehouse isn’t providing jobs for our people in the community, then why bother supporting them at all?


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  1. How is selling tons of cheap crap for a nite of rampant consumption in any way sustainable. What happened to old newspaper, flour and water, and a couple of hours of shared creativity as a way to enjoy life.

    • Yep Martyn and brusce, the Warehouse have sunk to a new low under corporate control noow and we always knew this wuld happen when a real “kiwi” icon opened the first “warehouse outlet store” in Auckand all those years ago; – “to give the kiwi Battler a fair go”.
      Sad end to a god idea.

  2. The “deal” that they are supposed to have broken never existed. It’s just a figment of Bomber’s imagination. Shoppers shopped at The Warehouse because they liked its low priced merchandise, not because the company provided lots of jobs.

  3. Our flatmate still works for The Warehouse. She had to reapply for her job and whilst a number of her colleagues were either made redundant or had their hours drastically reduced she is down to a 30 hour week.
    The thing is, and it applies to many other employers that have reduced hours, that whilst the hours are reduced the remaining staff are automatically expected to put up with a double or triple workload in less time.
    And so when that advert started appearing on the telly I looked upon it with a huge dose of cynical scepticism. Over the past so many months I have ONLY visited a Warehouse store say about 2 times and those were ONLY on the Sunday that has been.
    I feel sorry for those staff who have reduced hours but expected to do a 40 hour week in say between 25 to 30 hours. But then it confirms The Warehouse management ans shareholders were looking for an excuse to down-size and conveniently COVID came along at the right time.
    Methinks The Warehouse management is Top Heavy Still i.e has too many chiefs and not enough Indians. But they just don’t want to lose their cushy and safe jobs

    • So this is another example to those that believe business is the be all and end all.Whilst those politicians promote business ahead of it’s employees, tell me how one affords rent or mortgage on a 30 hour week?

    • Does your flat mate belong to a Union. How many minimum wage employees belong to a Union. If Labour are at all interested in improving the circumstances of low wage Kiwis the best thing they could do would be to replace the anti-Union anti Worker legislation we have presently have.

  4. Before deregulation we employed those huge numbers of people who wouldn’t normally be able to get a job anywhere else in areas like meat processing plants, car assembly plants, timber mills and engineering firms. All for the sake of cheap imports and slave Labour industry. The Warehouse is simply repeating history at their convenience after being the beneficiary of deregulation.
    It is pie in the sky thinking to believe N.Z. can build ,make, N.Z. made industrial products and thus employ the many thousands we once could.

  5. The commercialiastion of Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Guy Fawkes sickens me. The first 2 have some vague place in kiwi culture the latter 2 have nothing to do with NZ whatsoever. Why do we ‘celebrate’ these events through mindless consumerism year after year.
    I’ve been saying for years the consumer is the link between the shop window and the landfill. And pays for it every step of the way.

  6. “I love how in the advert they have calculated how much in charity they’ve given since 1982” priceless…

    and no doubt not from the Warehouse itself but donations from their customers, relabelled as from themselves. (A popular modern corporate ploy, why donate, when you can set up a ‘charity or foundation’ for your customers to donate, in your corporate name!).

    No wonder landfill has become such an issue in NZ with the plethora of faux discount stores everywhere, selling crap that stops working or is disposable and not compostable, and soon to hit landfill.

    It’s time manufacturers and retailers are required to pay for the destruction of their own packaging and products that don’t work… very soon you will see compostable options for packaging everywhere and the worst manufacturers going out of business.

    • It’s time manufacturers and retailers are required to pay for the destruction of their own packaging and products that don’t work… very soon you will see compostable options for packaging everywhere and the worst manufacturers going out of business…

      ..Totally agree with you Save NZ
      I bought a new deep freeze the other day as the old one broke down at only 8 years of service! due to no service agents in our community and the lack of retailers wanting to service there appliances or should I say crap they sell. The real indignity was only quarter of the shit and corruption that it was wrapped in was recyclable and to add further insult to injury it cost $30 to dispose of the old one at the local recycling depot.

  7. And so many products coming from China has resulted in the latest joke that Covd is the only thing out of China that’s lasted longer than a.week!

  8. The Warehouse is a company designed to make a profit for the owners and shareholders .It is not an arm of the welfare agency or a charity. It has an obligation to staff to treat them fairly with pay and conditions . With that obligation it is up to management to run the business successfully so that the jobs remain. Those businesses that do not move quickly to read the signs of a changing market are soon left behind and eventually go under with a lose of all jobs and a terrible flow on effect to suppliers and contractors. This can be seen in the lose of many household brands that are no longer around.
    Wether people believe the adverts of so called sustainably products is dependant on the consumer in much the same way those shopping at Briscoe believe the goods are really at sale price and must be brought this weekend.

  9. Nothing in the present system is sustainable, and collapse underway.

    However, I’m sure the present system can be sustained via further wrecking of the environment and egregious fraud in the financial system for at least another month, maybe even until February 2021, if the central bankers lean on governments heavily enough.

    And since the banksters have the final word on pretty much everything, we can expect everything that matters to be made rapidly worse until collapse overtakes efforts to prop things up.

    Pity the children.

    • The Warehouse is actually part of a conglomerate which also includes Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leemings, and one or two others. Presumably he is CEO for the whole lot.

    • I wonder if The Warehouse CEO would care to pop into one of his Big Red Sheds and give his employees a hand to serve the many customers who have to queue up for over 15 minutes to pay for the goods they want to purchase. Trying to find someone to assist when you need to find something is almost impossible. Not like when you go to Mitre 10 Mega they have plenty of staff knowledgeable staff to assist you, and you do not have to stand in line waiting to be served. And as for self service checkouts – if they want me to work for them – they can pay me to do their work.

  10. Yawn. They are doing what every large company/corporate is doing now. Self identified virtue signalling. I know this company is source of the left’s anger at the moment however they are no better/worse than the rest when you boil it down to the point.

  11. Take a look at who is keeping the wage subsidy:
    International Giants Hold on to Subsidies, Stuff 20th October

    “Some of the biggest companies in the world have claimed millions of dollars in Covid-19 wage subsidies for their New Zealand operations, with some going on to pay huge dividends to investors.”

    Some New Zealand stock exchange listed companies including Briscoe Group, retirement village operator Summerset and retailer Hallenstein Glasson Holdings have been singled out for claiming the subsidy and going on to pay large dividends to investors after their businesses fared better than expected during the pandemic.

    On Friday, following mounting public pressure to act within the spirit of the scheme, Briscoe Group said it would be paying back its $11.5m subsidy.

    “The wage subsidy register shows some of the world’s biggest companies claimed millions in wage subsidies.”

    COCA Tooth-decaying COLA:
    Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ), the local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company, claimed $7.2m in wage subsidies for its New Zealand business. It was deemed an essential service, meaning it was able to continue operating throughout lockdown, but many of its customers could not.

    The owner of the New Zealand business, Australian stock exchange listed company Coca-Cola Amatil, recently declared a dividend of about A$65m (NZ$70m) paid to investors at 9 cents a share.

    For the six months to June, the company’s New Zealand business delivered a “resilient performance” with profit and revenue falling just 4 and 5 per cent respectively, it said.

    A spokesman said Coca-Cola Amatil NZ had nearly 1200 staff in New Zealand and its priority had been to keep all them employed and paid in full, which it had been able to do. Revenue fell by more than 30 per cent in April compared to the same period last year, he said.

    “When the lockdown was imposed, we could not know how severe or long its effects would be.”

    Given the impact on its business and “the threat of Covid-19 still lingering” it was not planning to repay the subsidy at this stage, but was continuing to assess the situation, he said.

    McDonald’s Restaurants (New Zealand), which operates on a franchise model and is a wholly owned subsidiary of McDonald’s Corp, claimed $7m for its 1185 staff.

    McDonald’s restaurants were closed during level 4 but were allowed to open when the country moved to level 3 on April 27.

    McDonald’s New Zealand spokesman Simon Kenny said it had to close all 170 New Zealand restaurants under level 4.

    “The impact of Covid-19 on our restaurants has been significant in terms of lost sales and the wage subsidy was used as it was intended, helping keep our staff employed and restaurants trading over the lockdown and through the rest of the year,” Kenny said.

    McDonald’s Corp will have paid out about US$2.8b (NZ$4.08b) in dividends to shareholders between June 15 and December 15.

    Obscenely Wealthy TESLA/ Musk
    Electric car company Tesla, which opened its first showroom in New Zealand in 2018, claimed $169,000 in wage subsidies for 24 staff.

    Chief executive and 20 per cent owner Elon Musk is the world’s third-richest person, with an estimated net wealth of US$85b, according to

    He’s also against government handouts that are designed to reduce the economic carnage resulting from the pandemic.

    MORE at the link, including Heineken Breweries, Walt Disney NZ, Adidas, Fisher Funds and more.

    “Other international companies to claim wage subsidies include South Korean electronics company Samsung ($682,000), China Construction New Zealand ($373,000), Estee Lauder ($879,000), Toyota New Zealand ($2.3m) and Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand ($456,000).”


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