Twenty Mr Price stores still closed after 111 were looted - distribution mostly unaffected

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Mr Price said damage caused by looting totals 111 stores.
Mr Price said damage caused by looting totals 111 stores.
Phill Magakoe / AFP

Value fashion and homeware retailer Mr Price says 20 of its stores remain temporarily closed following the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

"The damage caused by looting did not increase materially beyond what was first reported and totals 111 stores. At one stage, more than 500 of the group's stores were temporarily closed, but [this has been] significantly reduced to 20 temporary store closures," the group said in an update to shareholders on Wednesday.

A week ago, the retail group, headquartered in Durban, said that 109 or about 7% of its stores were "entirely looted"

The group says its intention is to reopen all looted stores, but this will be considered based on the specific circumstances of each store's location and the status of the individual shopping centres in which these stores are located.

Extensive efforts were made to ensure that the group's distribution centres were unaffected and, as of Tuesday, these sites were fully operational, including all logistics and distribution activities.

The impact on local suppliers is less than originally feared, although some effects will be felt on forward merchandise orders, Mr Price said. 

The Durban port is experiencing some bottlenecks, but this is expected to ease as all facilities are operating.

According to the South African Property Owners' Association, some 40 000 businesses have been affected by the protests that erupted last week, with 100 malls significantly damaged by fire.

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