Following the continued economic down turn in the country that has seen the kwacha going at 680 against the United States dollar, Peoples Trading Center Limited has disclosed that it will close down 20 of its 85 shops across the country.

Peoples General Manager Ken Mthuzi disclosed this in a media briefing held in the commercial capital Blantyre on Monday.

Mthuzi said the move is meant to re-position selected shops for the company and maximize profitability.

“The main reason for the closure was profitability; we looked at the shops that were making profits. The second one was on the issue of logistics; we have to review how we access such shops,” said Mthuzi.

Mthuzi said the development will not affect any of its employees, saying workers from the closed shops will be transferred to other shops.

“It is our intention as management to ensure that this initiative is implement with minimum incontinence to our customers, supplies and other stakeholders and with very minimal effect on our members of staff,” said Mthuzi.

Information at hand indicates that close to 202 employees will be affected by the new development.

The affected shops include that of Chilomoni, Cheleka, Magalasi and Dalton Road in Blantyre.

The firm has also closed its Lucheza outlet in Thyolo, Muloza in Mulanje, as well as Mangochi Express in Mangochi, Malosa outlet in Zomba, and Kamwendo in Mchinji, and Namitete in Lilongwe.

Other districts where the firm has also closed shops include Ntcheu, Kasungu, Dowa, Mzimba, Nkhatabay, Karonga and Chitipa.

Peoples Trading Center is the subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL)

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