Home » South African retail mogul Mark Lamberti’s Massmart plans to shut down Game stores in East, West Africa

South African retail mogul Mark Lamberti’s Massmart plans to shut down Game stores in East, West Africa

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Mark Lamberti

Massmart Holdings, a retail and wholesale conglomerate founded by South African retail mogul Mark Lamberti, is set to close its Game stores in East and West Africa.

The news follows the company’s unsuccessful attempt to find domestic buyers to restructure its operations and reduce its exposure to loss-making stores.

Massmart stated that it has started staff consultations on closing 14 loss-making stores in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria.

The decision follows Massmart’s 12-month investigation into the possibility of selling its East and West African stores to local investors.

Unfortunately, the initiative, which included the sale of five Game stores in Nigeria, four in Ghana, three in Kenya, one in Uganda, and one in Tanzania, failed to produce a meaningful result.

Founded by Lamberti more than three decades ago, Massmart is the continent’s second-largest distributor of consumer products and a leading retailer of general commodities, alcohol, home improvement equipment, and basic foods.

Recently, Walmart offered $377.6 million to acquire the remaining 46.6-percent interest in Massmart that it does not own as it attempts to complete its takeover of the retailer.

Apart from its decision to close down its stores outside of South Africa, Massmart has also started to shutter some of its Game stores in South Africa in a move to further cut its losses.

Eight stores, including Bel Air (Northriding), Greenstone and Mall of the South in Johannesburg, the Cape Town CBD, the Ulundi and Westwood Mall outlets in KwaZulu-Natal, the Gilwell store in East London, and Game in Hazyview, are closing down as a result of the move.

Earlier, Massmart announced in December 2021 that it had reorganized its debt obligations in the face of increased losses following the KwaZulu-Natal unrest in July — and that it was looking to sell 15 of its Game stores.

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