Tough climate forcing prices down
MR PRICE reported lower third-quarter sales yesterday, as weak economic growth and tough competition forced the no-frills retailer to sell its clothing at lower prices. Local clothing retailers have in recent weeks reported mostly disappointing sales and warned profits will be lower as cash-strapped consumers spent cautiously over the festive season. Mr Price, which in November posted its first profit drop in 15 years, reported total retail sales of R6.1 billion for the three months to end-December, 0.5 percent lower than the corresponding period in 2015. “The difficult trading environment has extended into the second half of the year,” the retailer said in a statement. Weak economic growth and low consumer confidence contributed to strong competition between retailers, who in turn lowered prices and sold goods on promotion, the firm said. Mr Price shares fell by 4.79 percent to close at R156 yesterday.