The five biggest decliners on the Top-40 Index are retailers. Sentiment may be souring after Shoprite, Africa's top grocer, on Monday reported first-half sales that fell short of market expectations, sending its shares down nearly 6%.
"There's a switch from the retailers into the mining stocks. There's a recognition that these sectors (retailers) are way overbought in this market at the moment," said Bruno van Eck from Thebe Stockbroking.
Mr Price is down 3.9% at R128.11, while Woolworths drops 3% to R64.38. Shoprite is down 1.9% at R184.53.
Woolworths gained 80 percent last year while Shoprite notched up 50% of gains in 2012.
"They've seen some massive profits. It's good to see something coming off the table. Markets have got to be flattened out, you can't have one sector just flying, some kind of bubble will start to appear," van Eck said.