This is a very sore moment for South Africa. An eye-watering amount of retrenchments – at stores including Edgars and Jet – has been announced by Edcon.
South Africa’s biggest non-food retailer, Edcon, have confirmed that they’ve sent 22 000 retrenchment notices to staff across the country working in their various stores. The likes of Edgars and Jet will be hit severely, as staff numbers are slashed and employment figures tumble.
A statement issued by the group points the finger of blame towards the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. However, it also acknowledges factors that have contributed to the struggles long before coronavirus gripped the country.
Edcon job losses – what sparked the collapse?
Edcon also say the recent recession – compounded by frequent load shedding schedules – ended up resulting in poor sales, plunging the clothing giant into an unprecedented situation.
“The company’s financial position has recently become distressed due to the following;”
“Poor sales, the recession in the South African economy exacerbated by frequent load-shedding disrupting purchasing patterns, and the advent of COVID-19 which resulted in the government implementing measures including the initial 45-day hard lockdown period which prohibited trading of non-essential products.”
Jobs at Edgars, Jet and other branches set for mass retrenchments
This jobs bloodbath is, sadly, a sign of things to come in South Africa. Uncertainty over the future of the retail market due to the global health crisis is likely to see more big names drop into the red. The scale of impending job losses seen at Edcon is staggering and dwarfs the 3 000 retrenchments SAA is set to make.
The retail industry has been battered by the devastating wave of COVID-19 infections. Limitations have been placed on how the sales of clothes can be managed since the end of March. When the market does re-emerge from the wilderness, it’s likely a few big names won’t be making it through to the other side.