JOHANNESBURG - Mr Price, South Africa’s fashion and home giant retailer said earlier today that load shedding and heavy downpours had weighed heavily on the business in December.
“Business activity in key weeks in December was materially affected by stage six rolling power blackouts and prolonged periods of torrential rain in the inland areas, partially diluting the anticipated impact of the extra week of school holidays,” the company said in its trading update for the 13 weeks ended December.
Eskom’s rolling blackouts in December crippled South Africa’s and earlier this month the World Bank cut the country’s economic growth forecast to below 1 percent for 2020 due to load shedding.
Mr Price said yesterday that it was reaping the fruits of plans to boost its apparel’s high summer performance. It said the division posted a 4.6 percent increase in sales over the combined November and
December period, with an improved gross margin.
“The division launched its first beauty range, Scarlet Hill, in an initial 40 stores, with results exceeding expectations,” it said.
Mr Price said that its Home businesses had felt the effect of lower growth in household expenditure, particularly on discretionary items.