Massive job cuts at South Africa’s largest clothing retailer: report

South Africa’s largest clothing retailer, Edcon, is set to undergo massive job cuts at its head office in Johannesburg, according to reports.

Business Report said that Edcon, which operates more than 200 Edgars stores, would shed as many as two-thirds of its 3,000-strong head office staff as part of a cost cutting exercise.

However, Bloomberg reported that the number would be fewer than 2,000, citing Edcon spokeswoman Vuyo Mtawa.

The move is designed to “reflect a simpler, more agile structure that positions us for growth,” the company said. The process will be completed “around March” and employees of the company owned by US private-equity firm Bain Capital Partners LLC will have the opportunity to apply for other positions, Mtawa said.

Edcon retrenched 3,000 workers between 2013 and 2014, Business Report noted, while Bloomberg said that retrenchments are expected to be completed over the next month.

South African consumers face a difficult year in 2016, amid rising interest rates, an expected tax hike, increased fuel prices and electricity tariffs.

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Massive job cuts at South Africa’s largest clothing retailer: report