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Coronavirus: Briscoe Group shuts NZ stores and cancels shareholders dividend

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The Briscoe Group, owner of the Rebel Sport chain, has closed all its stores, which covers the homewares and sporting goods sectors, across New Zealand.

One of New Zealand’s major fishing tackle retailers has closed for a month as the COVID-19 pandemic hits the region.

The Briscoe Group, the owner of the Rebel Sport chain, has closed all its stores, which covers the homewares and sporting goods segments, and also cancelled a final dividend payment to shareholders.

Rod Duke, Group Managing Director, said: “We have yet to see the full scope of the national health response or the economic implications, but it’s obvious that retail will undoubtedly be impacted. While this may not be a long-term market change, it still represents the most disruptive force to impact New Zealand retail – perhaps ever.

“The company is now required to cease all retail operations for a minimum of four weeks. Due to the level of uncertainty around these compulsory store closures, the group cannot forecast the extent of the impact from these unprecedented events.

“We continue to review available advice and data on a daily basis and are taking steps to protect the health and wellbeing of our team and customers.

“While the cancellation of the recent dividend will be disappointing for shareholders, I am totally supportive and convinced it is in the best interests of the group to ensure we protect the company both in the short-term and for the future.”

Group Chair, Dame Rosanne Meo, added: “The Board considers that the cancellation of the final dividend is in the best interests of the company as we face an unprecedented level of uncertainty. The decision has not been taken lightly and we will continue to monitor the situation with a view of paying a final dividend as soon as the Board considers it appropriate.”

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