Aug 25, 2008:
Massmart (MSM), Africa's third-largest consumer goods distributor, wants to open a few more stores but struggles to find sites due to "unrealistic price expectations" for land, it said on Thursday.
"The latest review of our store-opening opportunities indicates potential for new unweighted space growth of 5,1%, 6% and 3,5% in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively," the group said.
Massmart, well-known through chains Game, Dion Wired, Makro, Builders Warehouse, Jumbo and Trade Depot, plans to open 27 stores - with 13 being Game stores - in the next three years.
The trading space will added 147,699sq m or R3,66bn in annualised turnover, the group said.
However, a combination of bureaucracy and unrealistic price expectations for land made it difficult to find sites, resulting in a slower store-opening programme than the market potentially suggested, the group said.
"Some people don't seem to understand the cycle we're in," said Guy Hayward, Massmart's chief financial officer, at the presentation of the group's annual results. - Tiisetso Motsoeneng, I-Net Bridge