Monday, 13 January 2020 18:06

One of the biggest retailers,Massmart Holdings has started consulting with unions about store closures and jobs cuts, as the South African unit of Walmart Inc. battles to recover from an earnings slump.

Massmart, which owns Game, DionWired and Makro among other brands announced the plan to shut the 23-store Dion-Wired chain of hi-tech appliance shops and 11 Masscash wholesale outlets, a spokesman said.

Employees and the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union have been informed and the process may take at least two months, he said.

About 1 440 employees could be affected, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement. The shares climbed 2.4% to R50 as of 11.22am.

In July 2019 Massmart Holdings' share price declined by more than 17 percent on the JSE after the group said it expected to report a decline in earnings across all of its four divisions for the six months to end June, mainly impacted by losses in Mass discounters.

It was reported that the group's losses were expected to widen to R395 million and R425 million compared to last year’s loss of R95m.

Massmart has a total of almost 450 stores across 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and about 48 500 full-time employees.