Edgars jobs safe, for now

19 December 2018 | Business

Edgars stores across southern Africa, which include its Namibian operations, will not close as was earlier reported this past weekend.

The announcement was made by Edcon CEO Grant Pattison, who said the company was on the road to recovery.

The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Edgars, Jet and CNA stores faced the risk of closure with an estimated 140 000 job losses imminent, as a result of its failure to pay high rental monthly fees.

Namibian Sun asked Edcon media spokesperson Michael Rubenstein how the risk of Edgars shops closing in South Africa would affect its operations in Namibia. Pattison responded to the query. Edcon currently has a number of Edgars, Jet and CNA stores in operation across Namibia. Pattison said his company's balance sheet recovery programme has been underway for some time, as it continues to focus on completing a recapitalisation of Edcon. “Part of the process is the continuing discussions with various stakeholders, which include lenders, landlords, potential new investors and others, as we explore and discuss various options,” Pattison said.

“These discussions are advancing and significant progress is being made, with all stakeholders indicating their support and strong commitment to the process. Edcon had offered a 5% stake to its landlords in the business in exchange for a two-year agreement on rentals, the Sunday Times reported this past weekend. This would help Edcon secure N$1.9 billion in emergency funding from banks.

The 89-year-old company, South Africa's biggest non-food retailer, has long struggled to stay afloat amid weak consumer spending and economic growth in South Africa, and had to be taken over by banks and bondholders in 2016 to avoid collapse. It announced plans this year to close some stores and to cut floor space by 17% over five years.

OGONE TLHAGE

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