Massmart Is the Pope a retailer?*
Getting a little granular here, but bear with us: Massmart has reported a miserable first quarter, with sales up just 0.5% year-on-year, with like-store sales actually down -1.7%. This, they complain, is in part due to the later Easter this year – although some analysts have pointed out that this would have been offset by the inclusion of Boxing Day. Elsewhere in Africa, the picture was even worse, with sales down -17.4% beyond our borders. On the upside, they say, they’re expecting to open 11 new stores in sub-Saharan Africa in the next year or so, hedging like other businesses against uncertainty back home. They expect the downgrade to make itself felt at the tills as the year unfolds. Problem is, economic growth is down elsewhere too, with the region growing at just 1.5% according to the skinny-suited Jean-Luc’s and Federica’s over at the World Bank.
Comment: Tough times for Massmart, which is particularly exposed to the hardships of SA’s lower-end consumers.
*Obviously not. That was a rhetorical question.