Pepkor, the South African retailer, has pulled out of Zimbabwe, after having had a presence in that country for twenty years. The company’s brands include Pep, Ackermans, and Shoe City. It has closed its last twenty remaining shops. At its height, the company had operated 200 stores in Zimbabwe.
Very difficult trading conditions, which included fuel shortages and high inflation, contributed to the company deciding to disinvest from the country.
A number of foreign companies have also been affected by the difficulties in trying to take foreign currency out of the country.
According to Businesslive, Pepkor said in a statement: ‘A decision was made to exit operations in Zimbabwe as a result of the continued macroeconomic challenges in the country and ongoing devaluation of the local currency. Management is in final negotiations with the relevant parties to conclude the terms of sale.’
The Zimbabwean exit will cost Pepkor about R70 million.