Retailers in South Africa have been hit not only by inflationary pressure on consumers, but also by rolling power cuts forcing retailers to pay more for backup power supply.
"The impact of load shedding was more pronounced in the rural and deeper outlying areas where the group's retail footprint has higher representation," Pepkor said.
However, more than two-thirds of its stores were able to trade during electricity disruptions by using backup power, it said, but added that the company still saw a 221% increase in loss of trading hours in the first quarter ended 31 December, compared with the same quarter in 2021.
This month, upmarket clothing retailer Truworths and value retailer Mr Price also saw a loss of business due to incessant power disruption in South Africa.
Pepkor, majority-owned by Steinhoff International Holdings, said group revenue in the quarter rose to R24.3bn.
Pepkor's group merchandise sales for its retail segments, which include clothing, general merchandise, furniture, appliances, electronics and building materials, increased by 7.7%, while like-for-like group sales fell by 1.4%. Like-for-like sales excludes the newly-acquired Avenida business.
While sales of clothing and general merchandise, Pepkor's biggest business, increased by 10.2%, partly helped by cash-strapped shoppers buying clothes and homeware at its Pep discount stores, same-store sales decreased by 1.5%.
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