According to reports, the Walmart-owned retailer Massmart, whose brands include Makro and Game, will close down 23 DionWired stores on Thursday. The retailer is battling with municipal cost increases and a consumer environment characterised by rising unemployment and passive wage growth.
Massmart said in a statement that the stores will be closed after talks with labour ended with all options being exhausted.
The group reportedly said in January that it may close up to 23 DionWired and 11 Masscash stores, which could affect 1,440 employees.
A decision to end the trade in relation to the 11 affected non-performing Masscash stores has yet to be determined by management, Massmart said on Thursday.
At the end of June 2019, Massmart had reportedly about 46,500 full-time employees, at 441 stores.
In July, the company reported its first trading loss since listing on the JSE in 2000, saying that in the 26 weeks to end-June 2019, employee costs had risen 8.6% year on year, while sales had risen 5.5%.
Factors also pushing up costs included increased municipal tariffs and electricity costs as well as load-shedding, the company said at the time.