Tough cli­mate forc­ing prices down

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES -

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.

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