Game, Makro and associated retailers freeze prices for essentials during lockdown

 Makro and other Massmart food retailers will freeze prices during the lockdown. (Photo by Gallo Images/ER Lombard)
Makro and other Massmart food retailers will freeze prices during the lockdown. (Photo by Gallo Images/ER Lombard)

Game and Makro's parent company, Massmart, says it has decided to freeze prices on all essentials, save for fresh produce items, during the 21-day lockdown period.

The retail giant, which also owns Cambridge Foods, Rhino Cash & Carry and Jumbo stores (who all remain open to sell essentials during this period) said it would suspend "routine price adjustments". 

The price adjustments are part of normal course of business for all retailers to pass – partially or fully – their supply chain inflation. For instance, Massmart estimated that it would achieve a 2.3% product inflation for 2020 when it announced its financial results in February.

But in a statement released at the weekend, the retail giant acknowledged that these are not normal times. "This is an unprecedented time for South Africa and the world. As we all come to terms with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we must do everything we can to support our customers. We are grateful to our suppliers who support this principled position," said Massmart CEO, Mitchell Slape.

A communique to customers from Game shows that essential items whose prices would be frozen include all food and non-alcoholic beverages, baby formula and diapers, toiletries, multivitamins, pet foods and household cleaning products to name a few. But fresh produce, which is procured daily from the market, is not part of the price freeze.

Massmart is not alone in this. Shoprite has also promised that it will keep restocking its shelves without changing its prices "until the coronavirus is stopped". But the group said it has put all promotional advertising on hold.

Outside of the retail sector, banks, insurers and gyms have responded in different ways including gym membership freezes, allowing cover pauses and waiving ATM penalty fees at bank level.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
ZAR/USD
15.18
(-0.64)
ZAR/GBP
20.64
(-0.01)
ZAR/EUR
18.36
(-0.16)
ZAR/AUD
11.72
(+0.09)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.62)
Gold
1831.00
(-0.78)
Silver
24.79
(-2.87)
Platinum
1078.00
(-3.22)
Brent Crude
56.41
(+0.64)
Palladium
2393.00
(-0.23)
All Share
63549.75
(-0.52)
Top 40
58446.35
(-0.49)
Financial 15
11916.89
(+0.01)
Industrial 25
83811.01
(+0.08)
Resource 10
63855.25
(-1.46)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 646 votes
No, I did not.
51% - 1601 votes
My landlord refused
28% - 867 votes
Vote