Edcon and Massmart get their lame ducks in a row

Business

Edcon and Massmart get their lame ducks in a row

Only so much deckchair rearranging can camouflage failure to develop a successful retail strategy

Ann Crotty

The new year has not started well for the retail sector – it was hardly a week old when perennially struggling Edcon announced it was closing its store in the high-end Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg.

This might have come as an unpleasant surprise for the landlords who participated in the most recent restructuring of this former retail powerhouse. It involved swapping rental debt for Edcon equity or accepting a rent reduction.

Landlords will have had insight into Edcon’s sorry trading performance. In July 2019 LibertyTwoDegrees announced it had written down, by 30%, the value of the Edcon shares it had received a few months earlier...

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