shop-sa hosts AGM

The shop-sa AGM was held via Zoom on Thursday 21 October 2021.

Hans Servas, chairman of the board, opened the meeting and invited guest speaker, David Shapiro, to begin.

Shapiro gave a talk entitled The Chips are Down. In the talk, he highlighted the perhaps surprising positive global outlook for the next five years. What drives the positivity is the huge growth in technology, as shown by Dutch company ASML.

Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, said in an interview that there are thousands of businesses in the US that still have to migrate to the cloud to achieve efficiencies, migrate to a more accessible flexible tech. In general, it would appear that global businesses are positive about growth in the future.

The current negativity around semiconductors aside, by the end of the decade they see semiconductor sales at $1-trillion, despite the shortage that we hear about. This is because of the continual rise of IoT, electric cars and the many devices in modern society that use chips.

The global economy is heading in the right direction, but precise modelling is very difficult. Shapiro warned people to be wary of forecasts in the time being; no one knows how the world economy are going to get out the situation. The last 18 months have impacted people and businesses across the board.

In general, South African CEOs appear to have a positive outlook, and the demand for many industries is either steady or growing. However, government needs to come to the party and keep its promises.

The crisis that we faced when we went into lockdown was a health crisis, and not a financial one. The markets did not reflect a financial crisis as it was a government-induced slowdown.
This could have been a moment for global co-operation, but it unfortunately wasn’t as people went insular instead of co-operative. However, central banks did pump money into the global economy.
People are extending their savings, and thus there is an extreme level of demand. Consumers are spending money on things and global trade is surging.

In closing, Shapiro urges businesses not to give up hope that things will improve – particularly during the festive period.

The AGM reached quorum and confirmation of the minutes of 2020 was given.

The report-back on the year that was is outlined below:

  1. The weekly My Office News newsletter, sent to a large database of trade and end-users, and the monthly Trade News newsletter, both showed increased readership. The aim is to keep the industry informed of any development which could affect business.
    Rob Mathews’ report-back will provide details.
    Unfortunately, advertising revenue dropped further and with it shop-sa’s income.
  2. The Product Source Guide is still well supported but could be utilised even more by suppliers, especially new entrants.
    Critical, but not used, is the Crime Alert. With theft and corruption continuing unabated, this is a “must” for the industry.
  3. Surveys in 2020/21The result of our State of the Industry survey was published in June 2020, providing valuable insights into the impact “lock-downs” were having on our industry. Not a pretty picture, but most survived!In October 2020, shop-sa conducted another important survey, BTS 20/21 Expectations as a Result of Covid, which was followed by the Results survey in April.
    Both had a representative response and confirmed that expectations were realistic, i.e. turnover at around 75% of last year.
    It also highlighted the fact that the delay of returning to school impacted on the product mix.
  4. In May 2021, we published the revised OPI report to members. It showed that the impact of the pandemic was similar globally.
  5. Live events were not possible due to the various restrictions, although the response even during normal times was always disappointing.
  6. In March 2021, the board held a strategy meeting to discuss ways of how to revitalise and save the association and My Office.
    Rob Matthews presented a proposal to develop a platform to hold virtual trade shows and other events to provide a much needed boost to the finances of both. The board felt that even at a high cost the project was worth it and gave the go ahead. In June/July the first virtual trade show, the shop-sa Expo, was ready to be launched with a planned date of 19 August.
    Then the riots happened and we had no choice but to postpone, hoping for calm to return.
    It did, and the date was moved to the 1 September. Even though this will form part of the 2021/22 report, it is important to know how successful the event was: 13 exhibitors, including Kolok as Platinum Sponsor, attracted 2 347 unique visitors and 5 487 visits to the various exhibits (both live and static) and video presentations. Surely this must entice more suppliers and brands to come on board the next time.
  7. Local and global challenges remain, such as rebuilding the destruction in KZN and Gauteng. Luckily “only” a few stationery outlets were affected. Globally the breakdown of supply chains and shortages of semiconductors and other commodities will be felt for some time to come, not to mention other factors like “work from home”, POPIA, and the CNA business rescue.
  8. shop-sa finances
    It should be noted, that the board made the decision some time age to use the funds of the association to keep it going, hoping that the various activities and initiatives will result in the industry becoming more involved, not only financially.
    Membership showed a small increase but the income only contributes a small portion to the overall revenue.
    If a larger number of business were to join, at least break-even would be possible.
    Advertising revenue dropped again reducing income even more.
    Expenses have been kept as low as possible but cannot be reduced further.

Rob Matthews of My Office News gave a presentation on the growth of the publication, highlighting the success of initiatives like the inaugural virtual trade show.

Board elections took place. The board remains as it is, and members are as follows:

  • Hans Servas – Chairman
  • Bill Bayley
  • Allan Thompson
  • Clive Heydenrych
  • Lars Smith
  • Mark Penhall

Source: RTM World

Twenty years ago, a fascinating new material called stone paper came out of the polymer labs and onto the commercial printing market. It was a quiet launch.

Today it is quickly becoming relevant for consumers who prioritise sustainability. By using mainly stone powder, no trees or water are required, a fraction of the energy is necessary for production, CO2 emissions are dramatically reduced, and poisonous chemicals are eliminated. Over the last decade, these sustainability credentials have been demonstrated as the worldwide manufacturing capacity has increased over 33 000% to nearly 200 000 tonnes per year.

Until now, however, this paper has been irrelevant for the digital and office printing market. That’s because stone paper’s original design was for commercial offset printing. This month, a breakthrough innovation has made this material accessible to digital printing systems.

The basics of stone paper

Stone paper is composed of 80% calcium carbonate and 20% polyethylene. In China, calcium carbonate is sourced from mining waste. Natural calcium carbonate is several million times more abundant than trees on Earth but is also a common byproduct of carbon-consuming industrial processes.

The polyethylene for the current paper is HDPE plastic. This may seem counterintuitive, but the extreme efficiency of this minor component reduces the overall fossil fuel consumption of paper production and completely eliminates wastewater and trees from paper production. The plastic component is actually the key to its extreme sustainability.

These two ingredients make a paper that is waterproof, non-toxic, tear-resistant, soft touch, and bright white without any chemical bleaching. The base material is photodegradable, meaning that it reverts back to calcium carbonate within 6 months under direct sunlight. It is highly recyclable, being easier to de-ink than regular paper. Its degradation does not affect its recycling quality. It can be both mechanically recycled and incinerated without producing high emissions or ash. Incinerating stone paper leaves only calcium carbonate for further use in a number of industries.

So what’s new?

Stone paper is waterproof which also helps to avoid smudging.

The key to stone paper as a replacement for traditional paper is the innovative coating. The proprietary recipe makes it compatible with printing inks, without requiring them to soak into the paper. Until now, this coating has been optimised for offset printing. Any ink with heavy solvents or water could not dry.

After two decades of development, this problem has been solved with stone paper 2.0. It’s a huge step for stone paper because it opens new possibilities for the largest segment of digital and office printing: inkjet.

The new stone paper can be printed with heavy inks and dries quickly. Due to its waterproof structure, it requires 50% less ink to achieve the same result as comparable office paper. It has a low dot gain which ensures image crispness, accurate colours, and deep saturation. It has a higher whiteness than the previous stone paper due to the upgraded coating.

Right now, this places the new stone paper 2.0 somewhere between office paper and high-quality photo paper. That’s why it’s initially being classified as a specialty paper. It has great potential for applications with children, like educational materials and children’s books.

Could it be more than just a specialty paper?

Being difficult to tear or spoil, stone paper is also being used to print children’s books.

At stone paper’s current volume, it’s fair to classify it as a specialty paper. There is still a lack of awareness that prevents it from being mainstream material.

The production of stone paper 2.0 only started in 2021. But its novel design makes it capable of more. Calcium carbonate, the main component of the material, costs less than 5% of wood pulp.

In fact, the production costs of this new paper, in general, are much lower than comparable office and coated printing papers. Not only could it save on ink costs, but paper costs too.

This is where things get very interesting. If this new paper is cheaper than traditional office paper, saves almost half of the ink of traditional paper, and has higher quality, what could stop it from being used everywhere?

This is an even more interesting comparison than offset paper, which was more or less the same price per ton. All of the important indicators say the digital market is a place for stone paper 2.0 to thrive.

This was just an introduction to this exciting new material. Over the coming months, readers can expect to see more important insights about stone paper 2.0 exclusively at RTM World. For any questions, go to pebbleprinting.com or send an email to info@pebbleprinting.com. We look forward to exploring this new material with innovative printers.

By Aoife White and Jeremy Hodges for Bloomberg

European Union officials raided several wood pulp producers over concerns they formed a cartel, sending stocks tumbling.

Stora Enso Oyj fell the most since January in the wake of the announcement on Tuesday. The company confirmed that officials had visited its Helsinki office. UPM-Kymmene Oyj dropped as much as 5.1% in Helsinki trading as it said that antitrust authorities had “started an unannounced inspection” at its premises.

Surprise raids are usually the first big step in a cartel investigation where officials sweep up documents that might show companies have been working with rivals to fix prices or allocate sales. The EU’s fines are among the world’s highest with companies paying up to 10% of yearly revenue if they are found guilty of breaching antitrust rules.

Metsa Fiber, a unit of the cooperative Metsa Group, is being inspected, while the group’s listed board maker Metsa Board Oyj is not.

“Pulp is a global commodity, so proving antitrust issues will be challenging,” Cole Hathorn, an analyst at Jefferies International Ltd., said in a note to clients. “But, it is clearly negative for pulp sector sentiment.”

A spokesperson for Svenska Cellulosa AB said in an email that they had not been raided by officials, as did Holmen AB and Ahlstrom-Munksjo Oyj. Norske Skog ASA also said it was not affected.

“Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in an investigation into suspected anticompetitive practices,” the European Commission said Tuesday. The inspections do not imply that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behavior,it said.

 

By Ivan Israelstam, chief executive of Labour Law Management Consulting 

In certain special circumstances employees are entitled to be represented at disciplinary hearings by external people such as trade union officials and legal experts. For example, in the case of Molope vs Mbha and others (2005, 3 BLLR 267) the Labour Court found that employees are entitled to be represented by a colleague, lawyer or union official.

Likewise, employers are entitled to get external experts to chair disciplinary hearings. In the case of MEWUSA obo Mbonambi vs S Bruce cc (2005, 8 BALR 809) the employee was dismissed for dishonesty and insubordination. The employee refused to attend his disciplinary hearing and claimed that the employer’s use of an external chairperson was procedurally unfair. The arbitrator stated that it was established law that employers were entitled to appoint outsiders to preside over disciplinary hearings.

Not only is it perfectly fair and legal for an external expert to be asked to chair the hearing it is also desirable because:

• An external person will be less susceptible to influence from the parties than would an internal chairperson.

• An expert in labour law will have the experience and skill to run the hearing according to the very complex requirements of the laws of evidence

• Such an expert would be able to arrive at a fair decision without breaching the myriad of complex principles that the CCMA expects to be applied.

A great many employers have had their dismissal decisions overturned at the CCMA not because the dismissal was considered inappropriate but because the chairperson, an internal employee or manager was unskilled in the chairing of hearings.

Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) requires that the employee be allowed the opportunity to state a case in response to the allegations. The courts have consistently interpreted the latter requirement to mean that the accused employee must be given the right to an unbiased chairperson, to testify, to bring documents, call witnesses and cross examine evidence brought against him/her. The question then is how can an employer:

  • Provide for these legal rights without setting up a proper enquiry with a fully skilled chairperson?
  • Prove that all of these rights have been afforded to the employee without taking proper minutes?

Thus, in order to be able to ensure that the employer complies with the employee’s rights and in order to be able to prove such compliance, the employer has no choice but to use a properly skilled chairperson and to set up a formal hearing, the record of which becomes part of the evidence at the CCMA. Because it is at the CCMA where the employer will be required to prove that it complied with legal procedure when dismissing the employee.

Thus, it is far safer to formalise all procedures related to misconduct and poor performance in the interests of making sure that each and every legal right of the employee is strictly adhered to. This includes the employee’s right to an unbiased chairperson. A presiding officer unskilled in chairing hearings risks breaking rules of impartiality that he/she is not even aware of. This is likely to destroy the employer’s case at the CCMA.

Therefore, managers must either be thoroughly trained in disciplinary process or the employer must hire a reputable labour law expert to chair its hearings.

To book for our 5 November webinar on BALANCING WORKPLACE EFFECTIVENESS WITH LEGAL COMPLIANCE please contact Ronni on ronni@labourlawadvice.co.za or 0845217492.

 

Happy, healthy and hydrated

How well hydrated are your employees? Although this may seem like a strange question, it is a pertinent one for businesses to ask. Studies have shown that employee hydration can affect the company bottom line. This is because water plays a role in reducing sick days and improving overall productivity.

Dehydrated employees are often tired – and tired employees are unproductive. Productivity levels are heavily influenced by the way employees feel and the mood that they’re in.

A recent study asked participants to drink three cups of water before taking various IQ tests. Those who were well hydrated performed 14 times better when compared with those who did not drink water. Research has shown that losing just 500ml of fluid within the body increases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Dehydration can have both short- and long-term impacts on health. One of the most common side-effects of dehydration is a headache. It can also cause lethargy, joint pain, a lack of concentration, memory loss and, in serve cases, kidney damage. It is not surprising that dehydration results in over 500 000 hospitalisations per annum, racking up a $5,5-billion health care bill in the United States alone.

Not drinking enough water can also impact people’s moods. Irritable staff members are less likely to get along with co-workers or get their work done.

While you can’t force your employees to drink more, there are a number of ways to make it easier for them to stay hydrated:

Water coolers

The most popular way to keep employees hydrated is by purchasing a water cooler for the office. Any initial investment will see returns in the long run, as water coolers have many benefits. They traditionally serve as a gathering point for staff, and research shows that offices with water coolers have more productive employees than those without. This is because short breaks boost productivity, while chatting to co-workers in down-time strengthens employee relationships.
Water from a water cooler is also filtered, which means it is more pure than tap water. When employees have access to cool, fresh water, they are less likely to drink sugary drinks. This lowers the risks of diabetes and obesity.

Water coolers are also cost-effective, requiring less power to run than a vending machine.

A good idea is to leave some lemons or limes next to the cooler, so employees can add a little flavour to their water.

Water bottles

What better way to keep employees hydrated than by giving them a branded water bottle? Employees will not only be able to drink water at their desks or on the move, but will also be showcasing your brand. Having water on hand encourages people to drink more regularly. If they have to keep getting up every time they want a drink, they will be less likely to drink enough.

Fruit

A clever and cost-effective way to keep staff hydrated is to provide fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks. As much as 20% of our daily water intake comes from the fruit and vegetables we eat. Apples are a particularly great source of water.

Providing your workforce with plenty of water will keep staff well hydrated, motivated and happy.

Employees who are dehydrated are also more likely to:
* Call in sick more often;
* Come to work in a bad mood;
* Eat unhealthy foods;
* Process information at a slower rate; and
* Exhibit signs of premature ageing and brain shrinkage.
End box

The human body is comprised of 65% water and the brain is 80% water. Between 1,5 litres and 2,5 litres of water is required to replace the fluid our bodies lose in a 24-hour period.

Keep it clean
Essential to maintaining water dispensing equipment is sanitisation, which should take place at least twice a year. If the dispenser is not sanitised, residue will build up in the reservoir, which can harbour bacteria. Green slime build-up which contains bacteria can impair the immune system and cause infections in humans such as gingivitis, dental plaque, middle-ear infections and urinary tract infections. Proper sanitation on a regular basis requires using a tasteless, oxidising product to penetrate the layers of biofilm and disinfect all the internal working components tanks, hoses and taps. Water bottles and refills should also feature tamper evident caps and stickers and be made from food grade Polycarbonate containers.

Chairman’s letter – September 2021

I am happy to report that the first virtual trade show, the inaugural shop-sa Expo (hosted by shop-sa and My Office on 1 September), exceeded expectations!

So much so that we are keeping the recordings and video presentations by exhibitors open until the end of September. You can visit them by clicking here.
A big thank you to the cross-section of exhibitors, the Platinum Sponsor Kolok, and of course the thousands of “visitors”.
We are sure that shop-sa‘s investment in the development of this platform will greatly benefit the association and its members in future.
So watch this space for the next event.

The board has again decided to hold shop-sa‘s AGM on Zoom  on the 21 October 2021.

Your participation is important and we look forward to “see you there”!
Remember: none of us is as strong as all of us!
Hans Servas
Chairman

Source: Pink Villa

To write down things on hard paper has become an old school thing. With the rise of digital media, a lot of us have forgotten the blissful feeling of writing with hands on paper and how it makes our hearts pour out things through the pen. Journaling is one of the best habits or hobbies one could have to understand themselves better and also to refine life with past experiences. This self-introspection process is an interesting aspect of growing and is very much recommended for anyone who wants to be a better person than who you were yesterday.

Here are seven supplies that are a must-have if you are making journaling a habit:

Paper punch

Exciting and colourful paper punches that come in different designs are ideal to create lovely clear embossed patterns. You can use it to make your journal look more interesting and vibe with your persona.

Marble sticky notes

To mark important dates and events of your life in a brief form and also to highlight your best moments, sticky notes can be a great help. It’ll add an aesthetic spin to your journal.

Canvas pencil wrap

Instead of having a pouch or a sturdy box to carry your pencil, pen, sharpener and other stationery items, a beautiful print wrap will accommodate all your essentials and is also easy to carry around.

Spiral notebooks

If you need pages you can tear out and use a regular and basic journal, then these spiral notebooks are what you were looking for.

Self-exploration journal

With exercises, prompts and quotes, these journals will put your creative brain to work and encourage you to write, draw and answer questions that’ll make you connect with your soul better.

Vintage masking tape

These masking tapes featuring colourful sea elements like starfish, scallops, shells and whales will make your journal feel more lively and interactive.

Planner

A planner is sure to help you take small steps each day to reach your goals and dreams and live a life filled with magic, creativity, and happiness.

By lvan lsraelstam, chief executive of Labour Law Management Consulting

Where the employee is found guilty in any hearing mitigating circumstances can influence the penalty or corrective action decision. The concept of ‘mitigating circumstances’ refers to evidence brought by the employee that may persuade the presiding officer to hand down a lighter penalty than would normally be imposed. For example, the accused might say that he/she has never previously broken any rule in the hope of a more lenient penalty.

A number of important questions arise relating to mitigating circumstances in the labour law context. These include:

· Legally speaking, is there a place for mitigating circumstances in a disciplinary hearing?

· What submissions qualify as mitigating circumstances?

· How must the presiding officer take account of mitigating circumstances?

· What obligations does the employer have for facilitating the introduction of evidence in mitigation?

LEGALLY SPEAKING, IS THERE A PLACE FOR MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES IN A DISCIPLINARY HEARING?

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) does not specifically allude to mitigating circumstances. However, item 3(5) of Schedule 8 of the LRA says that, “When deciding whether or not to impose the penalty of dismissal, the employer should in addition to the gravity of the misconduct consider factors such as the employee’s circumstances (including length of service, previous disciplinary record and personal circumstances), the nature of the job and the circumstances of the infringement itself.”

This makes it clear that circumstances other than the gravity of the offence itself must be taken into account before dismissing an employee. These additional circumstances stated in Schedule 8 are commonly known as mitigating circumstances. An employee who punched a colleague after being severely provoked should not be treated the same as an employee who assaulted a colleague without provocation.

WHAT SUBMISSIONS QUALIFY AS MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES?

Mitigating circumstances can include the size of the family the employee is supporting, the pressures exerted on the employee at the time of the misconduct, the employee’s work record, length of service, provocation, a show of genuine remorse and other personal and work related circumstances.

HOW MUST THE PRESIDING OFFICER TAKE ACCOUNT OF MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES?

The law does not quantify the extent to which the different types of mitigating circumstances must be taken into account. Neither does the law require the employer to accept the truth of the mitigating circumstances stated by the employee. However, the presiding officer must, if he/she fails to give a mitigating circumstance substantial weight, explain his/her reasoning for this. It is insufficient to ignore the mitigating circumstances or to reject them out of hand.

WHAT OBLIGATIONS DOES THE EMPLOYER HAVE FOR FACILITATING THE INTRODUCTION OF EVIDENCE IN MITIGATION?

Logic would dictate that bringing mitigating circumstances is entirely the employee’s duty. However, the employer has the duty of giving the employee the opportunity to argue mitigating circumstances. This the employer must do by:

· Explaining that the verdict is guilty and that the employee has the right to bring mitigating circumstances

· Explaining what mitigating circumstances are and what their purpose is

· Giving the employee time to consider and explain these circumstances.

In the case of Afrox Ltd vs National Bargaining Council for the Chemical Industry & others (2006, CLL Vol. 15 No. 12) The employer failed to call two witnesses to the disciplinary hearing. The Labour Court found this to be unfair because these witnesses could have provided mitigating circumstances for the employee. This is a startling finding because there was nothing stopping the employee from calling these witnesses and there is no legal principle requiring an employer to call witnesses who can assist the accused employee. This case stresses the point that the courts consider mitigating circumstances to be important.

Employers have no hesitation in arguing aggravating circumstances. These are circumstances that add to the severity of the offence. They need to understand that their right to argue aggravating circumstances is balanced by the employees right to be heard on mitigating circumstances. But weighing up aggravating and mitigating circumstances fairly is a most difficult task and should be carried out by an experienced presiding officer who understands the subtleties of labour law.

To book for our seminar on DEFEATING THE DANGERS OF DISMISSAL please phone Lee on 0824568247 or 787-5445.

Beware home office expenses, says SARS

The South African Revenue Service recently published an update on claiming home office expenses, warning taxpayers against applying the tax deduction without considering the full implications.

Its advice on the issue comes after a full tax year where many employees were required to work from home.

  • There are long-term implications of defining an area in your primary residence as a home office for tax purposes
  • SARS flagged many tax returns that included home office claims for verification and warned warned that there was a high likelihood that a taxpayer who claimed home office expenses for the first time would be selected for verification or audit
  • SARS warned that defining part of a primary residence as a home office will most likely negatively impact capital gains tax calculations in the future
  • Primary residences enjoy a R2 million exemption from capital gains tax, known as the primary residence exclusion. However, the home office area is excluded from the R2 million exemption on a pro-rated basis
  • Claiming home office expenses is not trivial, though, and does require diligence on the taxpayer’s part: first, you must accurately measure your work area, then calculate the ratio of your work area compared to the total area of your home. You can then deduct several expenses from your tax according to that ratio
  • Taxpayers must compile accurate schedules and provide all slips and vouchers if audited

By Anathi Madubela for News24

he business rescue practitioners aim to reduce CNA’s footprint to 60 or even fewer stores.
Newly appointed CNA business rescue practitioners met with landlords on Friday and said they would be streamlining the store’s footprint, with only 55 to 60 stores to remain.

“It might happen that it becomes less, but we hope not,” said Stefan Steyn, senior business rescue practitioner from Business Rescue Partner.

“We have a strategy to make CNA smaller,” said Steyn.

Further, he explained that they had decided to close loss-making shops that had in excess of 20% negative net profit.

CNA currently had a footprint of 163 stores in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Fifty-two stores were closed as of 16 August, including foreign stores. A further 30 stores would be closed, and landlords would be notified which stores would be closed by close of business on Friday or over the weekend, at the latest.

Steyn said Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban would be the retracted CNA focus points, and they envisaged 55 to 60 stores to stay open.

However, more critical for Steyn was how quickly the head office cost could be cut because if it took a while, then CNA would continue to subsidise a loss-making store.

“We started with choosing only stores with a 10% negative net profit, and we saw that the number of stores that we pull would not be enough to sustain a head office,” said Steyn.

The disgruntled landlords said since the business rescue process commenced, most have received zero payments.

“Your predecessor [previous BRPs] undertook to pay 50% of rental. We need to know what will be done as far as the rental and the utilities for that period. Particularly in respect to fixed costs such as rates and taxes, operating costs and electricity consumed,” said one of the landlords in the Zoom meeting.

CNA was placed into business rescue in June after the management team had fallen out with former CEO and minority shareholder Benjamin Trisk.

For Steyn, “the communication with landlords has not been that well, but unfortunately, we were dealt the cards we were dealt, and now we have to answer the landlords so we can all find a common goal”.

The questions the landlords have been asking are: which stores will be closed; when will the stores be closed and how will the stores be closed; which shops will be kept open; and what is the offer, said Steyn.

The leading business rescue practitioner said the selection was based on the criteria of profitability and location. Each landlord would get one document that would contain which stores would be closed and a rental offer for those that would remain open.

“Landlords with proven new tenants will be treated as priority one, and where they have already lined up a tenant, we want them to be set up before Christmas. In the next six to eight weeks, we need to be out there, wherever that is, to allow them [new tenants] to move in.

“However, we have constraints, and we have limited resources to close such a large number of shops. Currently, our capacity is to close one shop every two days. Unfortunately, we have no funds to white box. Stores where landlords have tenants, the BRPs, will accommodate closure dates,” said Steyn.

Steyn appealed to the landlords to consider the proposal that would be sent and asked for one week for landlords to consider the proposal and give an answer by 30 August.

“We are starting to develop an investment proposal to recapitalise the business and that we want to send out on 14 September. We have some parties we would like to propose to.

“After we have consolidated the business, there are a couple of options and concepts that we want to re-engineer and pilot in three new stores and see if it works. It will make a big difference to the future of the business, and if it is successful, we will roll it out to all existing stores,” said Steyn.

 

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