South African retailer Massmart Holdings (MSMJ.J) has revealed that it has begun staff consultations about closing its Game stores in East and West Africa.
The company announced plans last year (2021) to sell their Kampala stores in order to recoup the money before exiting the East African country.
In March 2021, Game Vice President Neville Hatfield said that Massmart announced that following a review of its Game store portfolio in East and West Africa, it was exploring the idea that store performance might improve under the management of investors and entrepreneurs with a better understanding of local market conditions.
Accordin to a statement shared today, Massmart, together with the Game management team, initiated a process over a 12-month period to investigate, as a preferred option, the opportunity to sell our store in Uganda to local investors Unfortunately, this initiative did not deliver a meaningful outcome.
“One possible way forward now is to consider closing our Game store in Uganda and we have therefore initiated potential store closure consultations with our staff members in the potentially affected stores,” Neville Hatfield, the Vice President of Game merchandise.
“From the very beginning of the process to explore alternative options for our store in Uganda we have been firmly committed, regardless of the decision taken, to honour our obligations to our staff members, customers and business partners, and we would like to assure you that this remains the case,” he added.
However, the company vice president has assured employees that they are finding the best possible alternatives for them.
“Our present focus is to ensure a transparent consultation process with our staff members and their representatives after which we will update you about the agreed next steps. It is difficult to anticipate timing of the consultation process but please be assured that we will revert to you as soon as we have collective clarity on the way forward.”
Massmart has been posting losses and losing market share to bigger local rivals in South Africa, forcing majority owner Walmart Inc to cut costs and invest more capital to turn the company around.
Game is the latest to exit Ugandan market after Shoprite Holdings SHPJ.J, Nakumatt, Uchumi and Tuskys that left due to losses they were incurring.
The store has previously operated in 12 African countries that includes South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.