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Massmart sales severely hit by Covid-19 impact

By Dineo Faku Time of article published May 18, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Massmart  reported that sales for the 19 weeks ended May 10 were severely hit due to Covid-19 regulations limiting trade in the majority of general merchandise,  home improvement, and alcohol products. 

Massmart whose stores include Game, Makro, and Builders Warehouse today reported R25.3 billion in sales from its South African operations during the period under review, a 13.1 percent slump compared to last year. Group sales fell 11.9 percent with comparable-store sales down 12.1 percent lower compared to last year.

“Massmart was unable to trade in the majority of general merchandise, home improvement, and liquor products for most of April. These untradeable product categories represent a significant portion of our overall merchandise offering,” said the company. 

It said that during the 2019 financial year general merchandise contributed 26 percent to sales, while liquor and home improvement each contributed 15 percent to sales.

“Given the high level of contribution of these categories to total sales, April Covid-19 sales were significantly lower than would be the case under normal trading conditions,” said Massmart.

Massmart said that trading was restricted to essential goods and both  Game and Makro did not trade in general merchandise, save for those categories falling under the definition of basic and essential goods. 

“No alcoholic or tobacco products were sold and our South African Builders stores were not permitted to trade in accordance with the regulations,” said the group adding that its non-essential product distribution network and  home and regional offices were closed with almost all its regional and home office associates working remotely.


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