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