What you need to know about Massmart job cuts

14 January 2020 - 13:22
By Cebelihle Bhengu
Massmart will close 34 Dion Wired stores.
Image: DionWired/Facebook Massmart will close 34 Dion Wired stores.

Massmart announced on Monday that it would be cutting up to 1,440 jobs as it struggles to keep sales up, a move that will affect its Dion Wired and Masscash stores countrywide.

Masscash is the wholesale division of Massmart, which includes its cash and carry, food and cosmetic outlets. 

In December, TimesLIVE reported that Walmart had appointed Mitch Slape as its new CEO. One of Slape's main tasks was to help turn around the troubled retail group, including improving its online shopping system. 

According to the report, Game and Dion Wired were most at risk at the time.

Here's what we know:

Unemployment a contributing factor

SA's high unemployment rate, customers' reduced spending power and the high cost of living were some of the factors that saw the group experience its first half-year trade loss in two decades, according to SowetanLIVE

This approximately a month after an announcement by Statistics SA in July last year that the unemployment rate had increased from 27.6% in the first quarter to 29% in the second, TimesLIVE reported. 

Talks with employees

After identifying underperforming stores within the group, Massmart said it would close 34 Dion Wired shops. To begin the process, the group decided to hold talks with its stakeholders and trade union representatives.

According to BusinessLIVE, these employees make up 3% of the retailer's workforce.  

Stores under Massmart

Game, Builders Warehouse, Dion Wired, Rhino Cash and Carry, Cambridge Foods and Makro are some of the stores under the Massmart umbrella.