Tag: sale

MTN South Africa to sell off branded stores

Source: Telecom Paper

MTN South Africa employees have expressed fears the company’s move to sell off its stores will result in them losing their jobs, a report form ITWeb has revealed.

Already, an employee representative, who opted to remain anonymous, contacted ITWeb alleging the mobile operator was looking to sell off its stores and in the process “dupe them into joblessness without proper consultations” with the workers at these facilities.

MTN denied the retrenchment accusation but confirmed there are plans to sell stores. Employees will be transferred to new employers at their current total cost to company packages, for a minimum period of twelve months.

Jacqui O’Sullivan, executive for corporate affairs at MTN said the company’s objective with this project is not to close stores, but to grow the company’s store footprint and BBBEE ownership of MTN stores.

The plan will see MTN increasing its number of stores in the coming two years, creating businesses for new owners and job opportunities for new store employees.

Source: 702

On Black Friday, most shops opened very early to allow shoppers to start helping themselves to the deals.

EWN reporter Shamiela Fisher reported that Checkers in Goodwood had long queues before 6 am. According to the manager, the staff had to be collected as early as 2 am to ensure that everything is in order by the time shoppers arrive.

EWN reporter Refilwe Pitjeng was monitoring Mall of Africa, Sandton and Woodmead in Gauteng.

She says toilet paper was the most popular item and Mall of Africa was out of stock.

Source: Fin24

Naspers has concluded the disposal of its 11.18% stake in Indian commerce company Flipkart, for $2.2bn (about R27.7bn), according to a notice issued to shareholders on Monday.

The e-commerce giant in May announced it was selling its stake in Flipkart to US-based retailer Walmart.

In the shareholder notice, the group said that the transaction was closed on August 18.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to reinforce the balance sheet and will be invested over time to support the growth of Naspers’ classifieds, online food delivery and fintech businesses as well as other growth opportunities, when they arise, the group said.

Naspers shares, which opened at R3 252 on Monday morning were up 4.1% to R3 310.47 by 12:19.

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

If 2017 is anything to go by, Black Friday is quickly becoming one of the busiest South African shopping days and, like the US, marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

This year, online retailers are preparing for even more hype, but are we getting ahead of ourselves? Let’s take a step back and review what we can learn from previous years:

1. Start early to reap rewards
As early as October 2017, the N1 in Gauteng bore the fruit of well-planned marketing campaigns with enticing billboards. Research shows that more than 50% of holiday shoppers start researching gift ideas in October or earlier. This tells us that we need to plan ahead, and by early November, you’ll need to kick off your campaign to ensure marketing ROI.

Not only does this give you more time to generate opportunity, but useful, published links will start building page SEO – crucial in the ever-competitive e-commerce sphere. Major retailers are pulling out all the stops from well-segmented email marketing to encouraging customers to add products to their carts ahead of the day. But, Black Friday does not only attract the big players but the smaller retailers too. In 2017, Nichemarket listed more than 500 participating stores from niche to e-commerce giants.

2. Integrate and personalise
Sure Black Friday has a certain, recognisable look, but marketing efforts have become more personalised. Think beyond the homepage and set up custom product landing pages. Integrate these with your social media platforms for wider reach. Remember to include your marketing material throughout for a consistent, familiar message. Entice consumers with a clear USP.

3. Set the clock to create urgency
It’s a one-day-only type of thing, so get in with the hype and add a countdown timer to your website. Like Takealot, you can offer exclusive discount newsletter sign-ups with early deal leaks to get your customers on board. If you decide to extend the frenzy to Cyber Monday, communicate this with your customers before-hand. In 2017, Superbalist did this well by gamifying their deals with locks. Not only did they keep their customers informed but engaged throughout the entire weekend.

4. Make the most of seasonal shoppers
Before Black Friday, you need to have your Christmas specials in place to benefit from the Black Friday hype that still lingers. Allow it to link with Black Friday and continue to drive sales after the big day as people continue to shop over the entire holiday season.

5. Involve the entire team for great customer experience
On Black Friday you’ll be very busy. Whilst it’s important to drive sales, involve the entire team to ensure that you don’t neglect your customers. Done right, Black Friday is a great brand awareness tool, but if your customer experience suffers, even the brand loyalists may stray afterwards. You may need to hire extra staff or work longer hours.

6. Consider an omnichannel approach
Customer satisfaction extends to shipping, so consider offering free delivery or perhaps an in-store collect option for those yearning immediate gratification on their spend. It is important to understand the interchange between physical and online stores – consumers prefer an omnichannel approach where they can research and shop both online and in-store.

7. Offer generous discounts
Leading up to Black Friday, Game launched its online store with generous discounts knowing that it would motivate new and on-the-fence consumers to purchase. In the US “Black Friday bargains were bigger, on average, last year“.

Small, negligible discounts just don’t match the hype and it certainly won’t attract the powerful (and savvy online shopping) millennial consumer market. Before your brand jumps on the BF bandwagon, it may be wise to assess whether it’s worth it? Some shops choose deliberately to opt out and so could you.

8. Accommodate mobile users
Make it easy for customers to shop online by optimising your mobile checkout process. Consider adding a one-click checkout option to streamline the process, and offering real-time online support for quality customer support.

Bhisho committee members were gobsmacked on a visit to a school in Addo on Tuesday when they found that a shop was selling stationery supplies issued by the Department of Education.

The matter was promptly reported to police and a foreign national was arrested.

However‚ the man was released later due to lack of evidence.

Eastern Cape legislature education portfolio committee chief building inspector Andisiwe Tyoto said the committee had been shocked to learn on Monday that learning and teaching support material (LTSM) delivered to a school in the town was being sold at a third of its value at a spaza shop near the Addo taxi rank.

Tyoto said that while visiting Samkelwe Senior Secondary School as part of an annual oversight visit to inspect school readiness and other issues in the province‚ the committee was informed by a staff member that the pupils’ stationery supply packs were being sold for R69.99.

“We were informed that there was a shop selling these packs with the department’s stamp and emblem on them.

“We informed the police and accompanied them to the shop‚ where the goods were confiscated and [a man] was arrested‚” Tyoto said.

By Tremaine van Aart for The Herald / TimesLive

 

Who has our petrol?

Cash-strapped consumers face another hefty petrol hike as The Department of Energy announced on Monday that a litre of 95 octane petrol will cost R14.01 inland and R13.52 at the coast from Wednesday.

And if that is not enough, the Central Energy Fund board chairperson has said that the fund is still busy calculating how much SA lost when 10.3 million barrels from its strategic fuel reserve were sold off in 2015.

The Central Energy Fund (CEF) can not yet say what price SA paid for the controversial sale of 10.3 million barrels of the country’s strategic oil reserves, or who now owns the stock, according to the chairperson of its board Luvo Makasi.

The secret sale by the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) – which is a subsidiary of the CEF – took place in December 2015, at a time when oil prices were at a historical low point.

Speaking to Power98.7 radio host Onkgopotse JJ Tabane on Monday evening, Makasi said that the CEF was still investigating the sale.

Bloomberg reported last month that law firm Allen & Overy led an investigation into the sale, which included a recommendation that a financial analysis of the sale be conducted.

But the fact that the analysis was completed by embattled auditor KPMG SA has caused delays in making the report public.

READ: Energy Minister wants assurance on KPMG analysis of oil sale
Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba last month advised all government departments and entities to review all work done by KPMG to ensure their audit processes had not been compromised.

First rotation, then sale

In March 2016, three months after the sale took place, then-energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson claimed in her annual budget vote speech that the fuel had not been sold, but rotated.

“In 2015, we issued a ministerial directive for the rotation of strategic stocks by the Strategic Fuel Fund and this has resulted in the increased revenue base for SFF, whilst at the same time maintaining stocks within our storage tanks for security of supply,” she said at the time.

READ: AG to probe R5bn ‘secret’ oil deal
But earlier this year new Minister of Energy Mmamoloko Kubayi admitted the strategic fuel stock had in fact been sold off.

During Monday’s interview, Makasi also acknowledged the stock had been sold and not rotated.

But he said the CEF board was only involved in the transaction “at the end”, adding the board only got wind of the sale when a “a good amount landed in our (bank) account”.

A loss

Makasi acknowledged the fuel had been sold in a “depressed market” at a time when international fuel prices were low.

“If you look at where the market was at the time the product was sold, you would then have to make an assumption that there would have been a loss.

“But what we are busy with now, is we are trying to quantify what was the actual loss to the state,” he said.

He promised the CEF would “come back to the public” with the full details of what the loss amounted to.

Asked if anyone would be held responsible for the secret sale – which took place without the knowledge of National Treasury – Makasi reiterated that the scale of the losses first had to be established.

READ: MPs demand answers on ‘illegal’ fuel stock sale
“Where there is a loss, the Public Finance Management Act puts a positive implication on the board of CEF and all its subsidiaries to investigate those instances,” he said.

“So there will be consequences. And when those losses are established, there will be consequences on all those involved in the process.”

Makasi appeared to imply that the CEF was also still investigating who bought the oil.

“The stock never left our tanks,” he said. “But the question of ownership therefore, that is what we are busy now debating.

“There was an element of sensation around. (But) was there cause for concern? Yes there was.”

By Jan Cronje for Fin24

Shoprite to vote on Whitey’s R1,7bn share sale

Shoprite shareholders will vote on whether to approve a proposed repurchase of about R1.7bn of shares from former chief executive officer Whitey Basson.

Basson exercised a put option on May 2 that meant Cape Town-based Shoprite would buy 8.58 million shares from the ex-CEO, who stepped down as head of Africa’s biggest food retailer at the end of last year.

The original sale price of R211.01 a share was later reduced to R201.07, the 30-day weighted average price up to when Basson decided to use his put option. At least 75% of voting shareholders have to be in favour of the repurchase for it to be approved.

Shoprite shares fell 0.5% to R222 at the close in Johannesburg on Monday, valuing the company at R133bn.

Billionaire Christo Wiese, Shoprite’s largest shareholder and South Africa’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of R72.6bn, said August 22 he wasn’t expecting significant opposition from investors.

The put option, agreed to in 2003, ensured Basson didn’t “flood the market” with shares while he worked for the company and was also part of an incentive to retain him in the role, which he held for almost four decades, Wiese said at the time.

If the deal isn’t approved, Basson should have no difficulty selling the shares to money managers over the next few months, Syd Vianello, an independent retail analyst in Johannesburg, said by phone. The stock has risen since the put option was triggered, meaning Basson could get even more cash if he sells independently.

Wiese owns about 15% of Shoprite’s ordinary listed shares and a further 30% in voting rights. The Public Investment Corp, which looks after state pensions and is the continent’s biggest money manager with assets of R1.6trn, holds about 10% of the company and is its second-largest shareholder.

By Janice Kew forBloomberg News

The revelation on Wednesday that finance minister Malusi Gigaba is considering selling a big chunk or possibly even all of government’s 39.3% in Telkom, at face value, is fantastic news.

There is absolutely no reason for government to continue to hold onto a significant stake in the telecommunications operator — if there ever was one, which is debatable.

On paper, now is the right time to sell the company. Under the leadership of CEO Sipho Maseko and chairman Jabu Mabuza, the company’s fortunes look better now than they have in many years.

President Zuma’s disastrous eight years in office mean the chickens are coming home to roost
The problem with selling distressed assets is they go for a song, raising almost nothing for the fiscus. Telkom is no longer a distressed asset — in fact, it is in such a strong position that it is taking the fight to its big mobile rivals, winning market share and giving them a serious headache. Consumers are loving it. Maseko’s praises should be sung from the hilltops.

It’s the wrong time to privatise state-owned assets when they are in trouble. It’s far better to turn them around, and then hive them off, ensuring the private investors that are brought in contribute meaningfully to the fiscus, in the process hopefully avoiding tax increases or even allowing for tax relief. South Africa desperately needs a well-managed programme of privatisation.

Black hole

The possible sale of Telkom — revealed in a secret cabinet document leaked to the Democratic Alliance — is being considered to raise money to throw into the black hole that is the national airline, South African Airways.

(That the DA was given this document is testimony to the fact that the ANC is a house divided. Secret documents are being leaked to the opposition, providing insight into the shambolic state of the ruling party. But that’s another story.)

So, Gigaba has a R10bn-plus hole to plug at the floundering SAA, which has been mismanaged for years under the watch of chairwoman Dudu Myeni, a close friend of President Jacob Zuma.

The concern is government is selling a good asset — using good money — to prop up an airline that should have been privatised years ago (and, of course, that shouldn’t have been allowed to be driven into the ground in the first place by incompetent managers).

But there’s a bigger issue here. Gigaba, facing a crisis over SAA, appears to be caught like a deer in the headlights, unsure about what to do. This is symptomatic of a finance minister out of his depth and, worse, a government that is failing.

Government already chased away Korea’s KT Corp, sending a terrible message to foreign investors that the country is not open for business.

If Gigaba simply starts selling government’s Telkom shares on the open market, it could prove disastrous for the telecoms operator’s shareholders. Not properly managed, the company’s share price could be decimated as the state dumps its holding.

Far better would be to sell the stake to someone through a managed process, led by advisers. But sell it to who?

Government already chased away Korea’s KT Corp, sending a terrible message to foreign investors that the country is not open for business. If there are potential foreign buyers, now is the time to ask them to step forward. But is this government prepared to sell the stake to a foreign company? Remember, it was the ANC government that almost scuppered Vodafone’s acquisition of Telkom’s stake in Vodacom, sending the rand tumbling at the time. Sanity, thankfully, eventually prevailed.

Local buyer?

Who locally could buy the stake? That’s far from clear. It’s unlikely the Competition Commission would permit one of Telkom’s big rivals to buy it. It’s not in consumers’ interests for that to happen as it would concentrate the market into the hands of three players.

But Gigaba, desperate for money to prop up an airline that has been ruined by his government, faces having his hand forced. The last thing he wants to — or should — do is to expand the budget deficit even further than it’s already stretched to bail out a bankrupt airline. He needs money from somewhere. Are there other options? Maybe. Government’s already sold a chunk of its stake in Vodacom to fund another state-owned disaster, Eskom. The Public Investment Corp, which invests public servants’ pension money, bought that stake. Maybe it will be asked to get involved again.

Whatever he decides to do, Gigaba can’t be rash about it. President Zuma’s disastrous eight years in office mean the chickens are coming home to roost. And the finance minister is in the unenviable position of having to try and fix some of the mess. The wrong decisions now could make things even worse.

By Duncan McLeod for TechCentral 

Staples finally sells up

Staples’ future under private equity ownership is all about online growth.

Having disposed of its international operations (including those in Australia and New Zealand) Staples has sold off the rest of ‘farm’ to a private equity group.

Sycamore Partners, a US private equity firm that specialises in retail, will pay US$6.9 billion for Staples, a company that has seen its sales, profits and store numbers decline in the wake of the online shopping phenomena, driven by the likes of Amazon.

Staples had sought to remain competitive in the online world by merging with Office Depot but the deal was blocked by US regulators last year and the companies abandoned the plan.

In its latest annual report, Staples was up front about the challenges it faced, stating it faced strong competition from wholesalers and local stationery stores.

“We also compete with online retailers such as Amazon.com, mass merchants such as Walmart and Target, warehouse clubs such as Costco, computer and electronics retail stores such as Best Buy,” the company said.

According to a report in the New York Times, Staples’s board and management decided to sell the company after shareholders had essentially lost faith in the business. Shares of the company were trading near US$7 earlier this year, having fallen sharply from about US$18 a share just two and a half years ago.

Sycamore’s offer of US$10.25 a share represents a 20% premium over the company’s stock price in early April, before initial reports of a deal to sell the company lifted shares.

Staples still sells huge volumes of paper, printer cartridges with a minority of its goods sold at bricks-and-mortar locations.

Around US$10.6 billion of its sales are delivered, compared with about US$6.6 billion sold in stores.

Source: Stationery News

Office Depot has closed on the sale of its business in South Korea to private equity firm Excelsior Capital Asia.

Office Depot had previously disclosed its intention to sell the majority of its international businesses under a process that began in 2016.

“This transaction follows on the recently announced agreement to sell our businesses located in Australia and New Zealand,” Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot. “We are now one step closer to achieving our goal of divesting substantially all of our international businesses in order to focus on the growth opportunities available in the North American market.”

Excelsior Capital Asia is described as a Hong Kong and South Korea-based direct investment firm.

Source: www.stationerynews.com.au

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