'Changes at every level': Jobs on the line as Trade Me announces cut to wage costs

Image of Trade Me auction website
The company will undergo a restructure in which wage costs will be cut by around 20 percent. Photo credit: Supplied.

Trade Me has announced that it will undergo a restructure to reduce wage costs by 20 percent due to the impact of COVID-19.

Founded in 1999 by Kiwi entrepreneur Sam Morgan and currently owned by Apax Partners, a British private equity company, New Zealand's largest auction website is the latest casualty of a reduction of revenue due to the pandemic.

Trade Me CEO Anders Skoe, said that COVID-19, particularly the lockdown period has been extremely difficult for Kiwi businesses. As a reflection of that, demand for Trade Me's services had changed.

"Many of the businesses that use Trade Me can't operate normally at this time, which in turn impacts how they use our services. 

"There's significant uncertainty around the outlook of these businesses and the wider New Zealand economy in the medium and longer-term," Skoe said.

Although the company had undertaken a range of cost-cutting measures, they hadn't achieved the necessary savings. The company would now undergo a restructure to reduce wage costs by "about 20 percent".

"This is not a decision we've taken lightly, we don't want to lose any of our talented people but we need to make hard decisions to protect Trade Me's future as a business," Skoe added.

Details of which roles will be changed were sensitive, however, the company said that "changes will be made right across the business at every level."

Although cost-cutting was unavoidable, Trade Me said its people are important.

"We're known for looking after our people and for doing right by them in these situations and this restructure will be no different."

Staff were advised of the restructure on Wednesday and the company said it will now consult with leadership teams before sharing the proposal to the rest of its staff.  

A new structure is expected to be in place on July 1.