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Retail groups start counting the cost of last week’s looting and vandalism

Retailers are starting to count the cost of the impact of the past week’s looting and violent protests that ravaged their outlets in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng.

Sandile Mchunu | IOL

Pepkor Holdings said on Friday that 489 of its retail stores, or 9 percent of its overall portfolio, had been damaged and looted.

The Steinhoff International subsidiary said its operations has been impacted by the civil unrest of the past week.

The damaged properties include one of the JD Group’s distribution centres in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal.

The JD Group operates 16 distribution centres countrywide, and its KwaZulu-Natal stores, once reopened, would be serviced in the short term from its other distribution centres.

Chief executive Leon Lourens said the vast majority of the stores across their footprint were operational, and the group was determined to rebuild and restore affected operations as quickly as possible.

On Thursday, food manufacturer Tiger Brands estimated the cost of the looting and damage to property to be excess of R150 million so far.

Trading has been temporarily halted at Massmart’s vulnerable stores and facilities.

Massmart, which owns Cambridge and Makro outlets, said on Friday that two distribution centres had been directly impacted by the mayhem and that 41 stores had been looted, including 18 Cambridge stores, 10 Game stores, eight Builders stores, three Cash & Carry and two Makro stores.

Massmart said four facilities had suffered significant damage because of arson.

Massmart was collaborating with and leveraging support and expertise from its majority shareholder, Walmart, “who have unambiguously expressed their commitment to our business”.

Fashion retailer The Foschini Group said on Friday that 190 stores had been looted and damaged. The group said it had closed all its KwaZulu-Natal stores amid safety concerns, and the loss of profit due to business interruption was being quantified.

Read more | Original article 

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