By Patrick Avenell

MELBOURNE, VIC & SYDNEY, NSW: Clive Peeters CEO Greg Smith has urged his retail staff and store employees to maintain a ‘business as usual’ attitude to the day-to-day trading inside the group’s stores.

Although Smith is currently engaged with both internal and external investigators to determine what caused a $7 million “accounting discrepancy”, these extraordinary circumstances should not affect retail staff.

“It’s business as usual,” said Smith, who also found time to be optimistic despite this tumultuous episode. “The company’s performance continues to improve and we expect that to continue throughout this cycle.”

Smith said relations between his office and the staff were very good. He said a newly developed incentive scheme for salespeople had been received well, and his sanguine attitude towards the future had not been affected.

“It’s business as usual, and let’s get on and show everyone that Clive Peeters is here for the long term,” he said.

Clive Peeters trading on the Australian Securities Exchange was suspended voluntarily on Monday after company secretary Steven Rowarth reported $7 million had disappeared. will continue to follow this story closely.