End of the road for Massmart’s Dion Wired stores

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Retail landlords are set to face even more intense pressure as Walmart-owned Massmart announced the closure of 23 Dion Wired stores as from today. Retail landlords are set to face even more intense pressure as Walmart-owned Massmart announced the closure of 23 Dion Wired stores as from today.

Although yet to recover from Edcon’s woes, Retail landlords are set to face even more intense pressure as Walmart-owned Massmart announced the closure of 23 DionWired stores as from today.

Massmart gave a notice to shareholders that 23 Dion Wired stores will stop trading from today. It will still decide whether it will close 11 non-performing Masscash stores, the notice read.

The announcement comes after the group's CEO Mitch Slape had increased pressure on retail landlords, when he slated the retail property sector for its high rentals and escalations, despite tough local economic conditions.

The company, which also owns the South African chains Game Stores, Makro, Dion, Builders and Jumbo Cash and Carry, slumped to a loss in the first half of last year as shoppers stayed away amid an economic downturn.

Massmart cut its full-year dividend by 40% last year and scrapped its interim dividend. The stock has more than halved in value over the past 12 months, the worst performer of the 13 stocks on the FTSE/JSE Africa General Retailers Index.

Below is a list of store locations that will be closed:



Massmart has a total of almost 450 stores across 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and about 48,500 full-time employees.

Earlier this week, Taste Holdings also announced that it will be liquidating its food business in South Africa with immediate effect, following the group’s failure to sell the Domino's Pizza licence in the country.

Last year, clothing retailer Edcon Group which owns Edgars Stores, reached a refinancing deal with its lenders, landlords and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), securing over R2.7 billion rand.

A number of landlords including Hyprop Investments, Redefine Properties, Growthpoint Properties, Vukile Property Fund, Liberty Two Degrees met with Edcon Group and agreed to reduce rent in exchange for a stake in the business in a bid to stave off liquidation and save jobs.

Landlords would have missed the Edcon shops, which are regarded as anchor tenants that serve as magnets for shoppers.

With other South African retail staples like Stuttafords disappearing from malls, it is unsurprising that big landlords were keen to do a deal to keep occupancy levels up.


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