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Massmart says foot traffic remains constrained with the impact of Covid denting consumer confidence

| Retailer trading results

Massmart Holdings, the operator of Makro and Game stores, said in a trading update on Friday (13 August) that rising unemployment, along with extended levels of lockdowns and curfews, has adversely impacted consumer confidence.

Staff Writer | Business Tech

For the 26-week period ended 27 June 2021, Massmart’s total sales amounted to R41.3 billion, representing amakro storen increase of 4.4% on the same period last year, with comparable-store sales increasing by 4.8%.

Various levels of trading restrictions impacted sales over the same period in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 level 5, 4 and 3 lockdown restrictions effective from 27 March 2020 until
reporting date.

Total sales from South African stores for the 26-week period increased by 5.9%, while comparable stores sales increased by 6.6%.

In Makro, total sales of R13.7 billion increased by 13.5% over the prior year, while total sales in our Cash & Carry business of R9.3 billion were 2.3% lower than the same period last year.

Food sales remained under pressure, decreasing by 2.9% in Makro and 8.0% in Cash & Carry due to ongoing lower activity in the corporate, hospitality, restaurant and catering industries, the group said.

“However, liquor and general merchandise sales have performed well. Total liquor sales in our combined Wholesale business are 39.6% higher than last year, which was impacted by the ban on liquor sales in place in April and May 2020.”

Massmart said that foot traffic in most super and regional malls and retail centres remain constrained, as consumers prefer to avoid crowded indoor spaces in light of Covid-19 infection concerns.

“Consequently, given its relatively high presence in these locations, Game’s total sales of R7.6 billion was 7.6% lower than the same period last year, with comparable stores sales being 6.9% lower.”

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