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VENTURES AFRICA – JSE-listed pharmacy, health and beauty chain, Clicks, on Thursday disclosed that its customers’ habit of delaying shopping until Christmas was further worsened by the firm’s decision to shut down all its outlets on the day of Nelson Mandela’s burial in December last year.
“(We decided) to close all of our South African stores on 15 December as a mark of respect for Nelson Mandela’s funeral. We have also seen the continued shift of consumers deferring their purchases until after Christmas to benefit from markdown sales in early January,” CEO David Kneal said.
Clicks joins retailers like Massmart and Shoprite which closed their businesses on the day the iconic Mandela was buried at his hometown of Qunu in the rural Eastern Cape.
Massmart and Shoprite posted major losses during the closure but Clicks had not revealed how much the closure had cost the company in the 21 weeks to January 19 this year.
Clicks Group said sales surged 11.6 percent to R7.7 billion ($689 m) during the period under review with selling price inflation averaging 3.5 percent during the period.