In press statement released by Vice President of Merchandise: Game, Neville Hatfield stated that the store has failed to get a local partner or buyer thus it’s closure.
In March 2021, Massmart announced that the Game stores were to be under review for he was exploring the idea that store performance might improve under the management of investors and entrepreneurs with a better understanding of local market conditions.
Massmart, together with the Game management, then initiated a process over a 12-month period to find how possible it was to get investors in Uganda who would buy the store, but this seems to have failed, prompting the company to think of total closure.
“One possible way forward is now to consider closing our Game store in Uganda and we have therefore initiated potential store closure consultations with our staff members in the potentially affected stores,” says Neville Hatfield, Vice President of Merchandise in the statement.
However, the company has assured employees that they are finding the best possible alternatives for them.
“Our present focus is to ensure a transparent consultation process with our staff members and their representatives after which we will update you about the agreed next steps. It is difficult to anticipate timing of the consultation process but please be assured that we will revert to you as soon as we have collective clarity on the way forward.”
In East Africa, Massmart operates one Game store in Uganda which has been operating for close to 20 years, employing more than 300 Ugandans. The retailer also has three stores in Kenya and one in Tanzania.
Massmart is Africa’s third-largest distributor of consumer goods and one of the biggest retailers of general merchandise, liquor, home improvement equipment and supplies and wholesaler of basic foods.
The exit of Game Stores now joins other retail chains including Shoprite, Nakumatt, Uchumi and Tuskys that have in the past seven years exited the Ugandan market after struggling with business.