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More Casualties in South Africa’s Retail Market

Shoppers load their goods into a car outside a Makro branch of South African retailer Massmart in Cape Town, file. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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South Africa’s Massmart Holdings could cut up to 1,440 jobs under a plan to close some stores, as the retailer struggles to grow sales in a tough economy. Massmart, majority owned by U.S. retail giant Walmart, swung to its first half-year trading loss in two decades last August, as low growth, high unemployment and a rising cost of living hurt South Africans’ spending power. A number of Massmart’s rivals, such as Shoprite, are also struggling in the difficult market conditions, and both retailers have also had to battle currency weakness elsewhere in Africa, especially Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

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