By Oliver Kazunga
Clothing retail chain, Power Sales, says it will not close down operations in Zimbabwe although its parent company, Pepkor Holdings Limited, is exiting the country.
In announcing the exit decision, the South African-headquartered Pepkor group indicated that management was finalising negotiations with the relevant parties to conclude the terms of sale of the local business.
There was apprehension that Pepkor’s exit signalled an end to Power Sales’ journey in Zimbabwe and the inevitable loss of employment to its workers. However, in a statement yesterday, Power Sales assured its local customers that it was not shutting down local operations.
“We would like to correct and assure our valued customers and business partners that Power Sales is not closing,” reads part of the statement.
“Final negotiations are in place with the relevant parties to conclude the terms of sale with Power Sales’ resident directors and Pepkor.”
Power Sales said it was committed to serving the local market and that it has changed its business model to ensure increased support for local industry.
“Since July 2019, we have changed our business model by supporting our local manufacturers. This has been a great success. We know our business and we look forward to many years of partnership together,” said Power Sales.
Earlier reports had indicated the Pepkor group was exiting the local market citing operational challenges.
South African media reported that the company whose brands include Pep Stores, Ackermans, Dunns and Shoe City, had closed the remaining 20 stores in Zimbabwe, bringing to an end its close to 40 years presence in the country. The group once operated 200 branches in Zimbabwe.
The local unit has been struggling to maintain sound operations in the past few years and recently closed most of its branches in Bulawayo and remained with only two in the Central Business District.
The group had said its Pep Africa brand, excluding Zimbabwe, contributed 3,2 percent to total revenue in FY19 and reported strong sales growth of 14,3 percent. In 2014 the group was reported to have closed 29 of its branches countrywide. The Herald