South Africa’s largest grocery retailer, Shoprite, says over 200 stores across the group have fallen victim to looting and damage during last week’s unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The retailer said on Tuesday – of the 1 189 supermarkets trading under the Shoprite, Usave, Checkers and Checkers Hyper banners – 119 stores have been severely impacted as a result of looting or fire damage. Broken down, this is 69 Shoprite stores, 44 Usave stores, and six Checkers stores, including one Checkers Hyper.
Fifty-four of 537 LiquorShop stores have been impacted as parts of the country have been affected by looting, violence and property damage.
The group said 35 of 340 stores from its furniture division experienced severe damage either from vandalism, looting or fire. The furniture division includes OK Furniture and House & Home.
Further, the group said of the 444 South Africa-based OK franchise stores, 16 were damaged due to either vandalism, looting or fire.
The Freshmark distribution centre for fresh produce in Durban was looted; however, its operational capacity has been fully restored since 18 July.
Although the group did not say how many stores it had to close during the unrest, in its update to shareholders it said that the majority of the stores closed on a precautionary basis have been reopened.
The group’s wholesale pharmaceutical business, Transpharm, did not experience any disruption to its operations in KwaZulu-Natal or Gauteng and remains fully operational together with MediRite Pharmacies.