Meikles to shut down Greatermans

HARARE - Diversified group Meikles Limited (Meikles) is shutting down its upmarket Greatermans store and is replacing it with Pick n Pay supermarket.

This comes as most Zimbabwean retailers are finding the going very tough due to an acute liquidity crisis coupled with low disposable incomes.

They also face stiff competition from cheaper imports, mainly from China and South Africa.

Greatermans, located in the Harare central business district, sells clothing and furniture.

“Greatermans store will close down on June 30, 2014,” said Meikles director Mark Wood, adding that the move was “a very exciting development which will meet the needs of customers in a good location”.

Late last year, Meikles announced plans to make forays into the lower end of the market as part of strategies to boost revenue and unlock shareholder value.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed group, whose departmental stores — Barbours, Meikles and Greatermans — targeted the affluent, recently opened a mass market unit Meikles Mega Market, which targets the lower end of the market.

The group said more units will be opened at other locations this year.

Wood noted that the Mega Market unit was performing to expectations.

He said Meikles planned to increase its Pick n Pay franchises in the country in an effort to increase revenue streams.

“We target to open two new supermarkets and refurbish four existing operations all under the Pick n Pay brand by year end,” he said.

Last year, South African retail giant Pick n Pay, which owns a 49 percent stake in Meikles’ TM Supermarkets chain, indicated that it was expanding its presence in Zimbabwe by investing $25 million to upgrade the grocer to international standards. Pick n Pay has three supermarkets under its banner in Zimbabwe so far.

In the half year to September 2013, Meikles recorded a $37,5 million profit, up from $767 000 recorded in prior comparable period.

During the period, earnings per share stood at 14.37 cents while revenue marginally increased to $190 million from $189 million


Comments (9)

I am a saddened account holder. What next, the last time I went to Meikles to find a different setup altogether. The next thing we will find no Barbours at all.

Simbarashe Matubu - 20 May 2014

Where do they think they were going with acres of untilised space in the CBD. Liquidity crunch teaches stubborn business people painful lessons as is the case here. Hopefully the powers that be will quickly realise that the economy does not need the rigid and inflexible Barbours of this world.

Soso - 20 May 2014

My heart goes out to the current generation of students. When we still at school and studying commerce and economics, we knew exactly what a Departmental store looked like. We had Haddon and Sly in Bulawayo, Meikles in every other big city and Greatermans and Barbours in Harare. Now that's all gone along with other things like our own currency. We have even lost our own dignity as Zimbabweans, we are a laughing stock the world over. May the good LORD intervene.

Dr Know - 21 May 2014

i worked for Meikles Department Store , orr street branch for five years. however i was sensing the downturn when their white employees all left work and came the first black General Manager. everything went bleak, i think Meikles started externalising its profits long back. i saw it early and left for greener pastures. i am pained to see Greatermans wind up.

watondah - 21 May 2014

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ORIGINAL - 21 May 2014

Now bhora mugedhe speaks volumes.Where are we going at this speed? Sure the closure of Greatermans is indeed another sad thing to happen in Zimbabwe Please NIKUV help.

MUGEDHE - 21 May 2014

This may be a trend in many countries.In Canada we lost the big department stores I grew up with,not unlike Greatermans,to be replaced with stores selling the cheaper goods.

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WERTHJITFCF - 23 May 2014

Mugedhe, how many own goals do we have to score for us to realise that we are going over the cliff

CYTRON - 24 May 2014

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