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VENTURES AFRICA – JSE-listed retailer, Massmart, on Wednesday disclosed that it lost about R200 million ($18.3m) on the day former South African President, Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest.
On December 15 last year, Massmart, which is a unit of the world’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart, joined other South African retailers in shutting down their businesses in honour of the late iconic struggle hero Mandela.
Mandela was buried amid splendour and traditional rituals, which CNN described as an excellent passage for political convict turned head of state.
He was buried at the village of Qunu in the rural part of the Eastern Cape, formerly known as Transkei, where he was born and brought up.
Massmart said the shutting down of operations on the day Mandela was buried affected the total sales store growth for 52 weeks to December 29 2013, with sales in Massdiscounters being the most hit by this shut down.
But Massmart’s total sales surged to R72.2 billion ($6.6bn), amounting to 9.7 percent on the 53 weeks to December 29 last year.
Walmart acquired a controlling stake in Massmart for R16.5 billion ($1.5 billion) in late 2010.
Wal-Mart acquired Massmart to use South Africa as a springboard to the greater African continent.