Checking in on Massmart, absent from these pages for some time now. Last Sunday, City Press reported that some Massmart stores were running low on basic items because of accounting issues arising from the transfer of merchandiser accounts to Walmart. Not so, says Massmart, nor with 97% of merchandise being sourced locally is there a need for such a transfer to take place. Saccawu, currently locked in a wage negotiation with Massmart, has also claimed some responsibility for the shortages – i.e. that suppliers are supporting the union’s higher staff wage increase campaign through delays – which again, according to Massmart, is untrue: stock levels at Makro are currently at 92%, a touch below the targeted 95%, but nothing to worry about. Any shortages, they say, are “primarily supplier service level related.” In other Massmart news, the business has been certified by the Top Employers Institute as one of South Africa’s Top Employers, under the pillars of “unite, develop, steer and attract.” Says Chief People Officer Chwayita Mareka, “We have elevated our internal efforts towards fostering a culture where everyone is – and feels included.”
Comment: South Africa’s retail landscape has not yet begun to reckon with the presence of a Walmart, undiluted and entrenched.