Spur boycott hitting some franchises hard - Times LIVE
   
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Thu May 25 22:11:10 SAST 2017

Spur boycott hitting some franchises hard

David Gernon | 2017-05-18 14:42:24.0
Pierre van Tonder, MD of Spur Corporation in his office at the Spur Head Office in Century City.
Image by: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lerato Maduna

A boycott of Spur led by a right-wing political party is having a major effect on some franchises in the two months since it took effect‚ two franchise owners have said.

In a Facebook post‚ Front National called this a “principle case” and called for no compromising on the issue‚ saying they will not be treated as “second-rate citizens”.

The boycott stems from an incident in March in which an aggressive white man began threatening a black woman at Texamo Spur at The Glen Shopping Centre in Johannesburg. The company banned the man from all Spur stores.

Mark Farrelly‚ COO of Spur‚ said despite some areas facing some hardship‚ the majority of Spur stores were still “very strong”.

The post emphasised two things‚ two months after originally calling for the boycott. It said the action was not aimed at the franchise owners‚ some of whom appear to be badly affected by the movement.

Rather‚ the intended target is the CEO of Spur‚ Pierre van Tonder. Front National‚ which currently holds zero seats in the National Assembly‚ said the boycott will continue until Van Tonder offers a public apology and resigns.

Farrelly said the incident was a “perfect storm” and the company has nothing to apologise for. He added that Van Tonder will not be resigning.

“More and more people are realising Spur hasn’t done anything wrong and should be commended for taking a stance against violence against women and children‚” he said.

Farrelly said a lot of customers were already returning to Spur stores across the country.

The post also said: “Both acted incorrectly and therefore both should be treated the same.”

The boycott appears to have affected at least several Spur stores.

Morne Brown‚ who owns 15 Spurs in and around Durban‚ said his worst affected store is down 45% month on month.

“At the end of the day‚ if you’re 45% down‚ you’ve got a lot of workers with kids and people in your business who really need the income‚” he told The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield on Wednesday.

He went on to say Spur has been helping with concessions and helping pay workers’ salaries.

Farrelly said Spur was also assisting franchise owners with marketing‚ reimbursing the stores for advertising in their local community and reducing franchisee fees to help on the margins. He said the company has approved 72 “rescue packages” for stores.

Another store owner‚ Allan Ransom from Ballito‚ who has been in the business 34 years‚ told Whitfield: “We get quite a lot of abuse on social media. We have to ride this one out and do what we do best‚ which is feed the nation and we’re going to just continue doing that.”

-TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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