The announcement of the closure of Stuttafords stores in Botswana was met with mixed reactions on Facebook, with some people criticizing it, with a good measure of sarcasm, for its expensive prices.
While the store did not give reasons for its shutdown, speculation on its Facebook page suggested that it went under the hammer for its inaccessible prices. “I remember dresses which looked like puke which were said to be P7 000; hot pants jeans said to be P4 000; they used to price like they are headless [translated],” said one Nandi Melitha White.
“I once got in the store to check out some rafter, just ordinary rafters which were worn by Judas who once sold off Jesus, they were as high as P1000 and I retraced my steps and went to Mr Price [translated],” said one Batswana Modise.
There were some comments that were more measured, with one Maino Phitlho saying “I am guessing it was too expensive for Batswana to afford it,” with a more sympathetic Moemedi Lekang saying “We will never get any shop better than you guys in Botswana. Polo, Banana Republic, Pringle of Scotland, Ted Baker, Crockett n Jones, Stephen Cole, Lacoste, Tomy Hilfiger, Saville, 46664 etc,” while Leatile Mokgware was more concerned about employees of the store, saying “Yes indeed it’s sad to note your closure but have our dear brothers and sisters been paid their terminal benefits?”
Stuttafords announced its closure officially last week following knock down sales which saw it clear stock last month, leaving its staff jobless. “We are sad to announce that Stuttafords Botswana is now officially closed. We thank you all for your support of our world of Brands, we wish you all the best in your future endeavors,” the post reads on their July 4 Facebook post.
While Time Out could not get ahold of Stuttafords management after numerous attempts, it is understood the brand officially triggered the process to close its stores in South Africa at the Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town and Rosebank and Clearwater malls in Johannesburg.
According to Moneyweb, Stuttafords shut three of its department stores to fend off liquidation. This was achieved by a mix of 50% discounts and 3-for-2 promotions; this helped raise money for winter season merchandise. Stuttafords CEO Robert Amoils told the media in South Africa that the closures were required in order to accommodate the retailer’s infrastructure and store footprint and that Stuttafords landlords and suppliers supported the closures.
While it is not clear how the closure will affect the almost 100 Batswana employees, a source who commented anonymously revealed that the store’s employees were paid their monthly salary three months in advance.
Turnstar Holdings Limited who housed Stuttafords declined to tell Time Out who will fill the vacant space at Game City mall.