Kalahari website shuts down

Johannesburg - E-commerce website Kalahari has been taken offline on Thursday night as takealot says the merger between the two companies’ websites is now officially complete.

The site’s expected closure comes after a merger between Kalahari and takealot was given the green light by the Competition Commission earlier this year.

The co-CEO of takealot, Kim Reid, told Fin24 in an interview in January that the Kalahari brand would no longer exist as a result of the merger.

And last week, notices appeared on the both the Kalahari and takealot websites stating that the Kalahari website would be shut down within a month.

An exact shutdown date, though, was not provided by the companies last week.

But both the Kalahari and takealot websites went down for maintenance on Thursday night.  

And subsequently the web address for the kalahari.com website is redirecting to takealot.com, which is back online following the brief switchover.

“It's official! http://kalahari.com  has moved in with http://takealot.com,” takealot announced on Twitter on Thursday night at 20:04pm.

On Twitter, takealot is also redirecting users to a merger page on the website. The merger page was uploaded last week to tell users about how their accounts on Kalahari have been migrated to takealot.

At the time of writing, takealot has not responded to requests from Fin24 for comment regarding the closure.

“The Kalahari website has now closed and all traffic to the website will be automatically redirected to takealot.com,” reads an updated note on takealot’s website under a frequently asked questions section.

Regarding the merger, takealot co-CEO Kim Reid told Fin24 earlier this year that Tiger Global Management and media company Naspers would each have a 41% stake in the merged businesses while management and shareholders will own the remaining stake of the merged unit.

Reid, along with Willem van Biljon, remain co-CEOs of takealot.

The Kalahari brand was launched in South Africa in 1998 with the web address Kalahari.net. The website quickly became a popular online destination for South Africans looking to buy books, music and VHS titles.

In 2011, kalahari.net changed its web domain to kalahari.com.

According to data from Effective Measure, kalahari.com was South Africa’s biggest e-commerce website in December 2014 with 2 277 636 visitors to the site. E-commerce website takealot.com had 1 737 672 visitors in December 2014, according to Effective Measure.

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