South Africa: Mitchell Slape Moves Fast to Get Massmart Into Shape


It didn't take long for new CEO and Walmart veteran Mitchell Slape to see what is not working at Massmart, which owns Game and Dion Wired stores. Slape is already in talks with trade unions to shut stores and cut jobs at the struggling retailer.

Four months into the top job at Massmart, Mitchell Slape has followed the footsteps of the world's largest retailer, Walmart, on how to revive the troubled retailer.

Slape, a Walmart veteran who was brought in from the US on 2 September 2019 to run Massmart, has fired his first bold intervention to cut costs at the troubled retail group that owns Game, Dion Wired, Makro, Builders Warehouse and other brands.

Massmart, which is majority-owned by US-based Walmart, announced on Monday, 13 January that it was in talks with unions and other stakeholders to close 34 stores, which could result in up to 1,440 job losses. This represents about 3% of Massmart's workforce at the end of Massmart's June 2019 financial year, as the retailer had 46,500 full-time employees and operated 441 stores in SA and the rest of Africa.

The possible store closures, which are part of Slape's strategy to review underperforming stores, will target...

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