Re­tail­ers close, do­nate prof­its as mark of re­spect

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NELSON MANDELA 1918-2013 -

wish not to work on Sun­day.

“I re­spect that choice and they will be en­tirely free to choose not to work. Pick n Pay stores on Sun­day will be manned only by staff who have cho­sen to vol­un­teer to work… our many cus­tomers who rely on us to be open on Sun­day will be able to shop with us know­ing ev­ery pur­chase will ben­e­fit a good cause.”

The de­ci­sion didn’t go down well with the SA Com­mer­cial, Cater­ing and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union, which was “out­raged and dis­ap­pointed”.

“It is sad that on the day when all want to hon­our pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela, Pick n Pay have opted to re­duce the celebration and hon­our­ing of his life to cel­e­brat­ing profit… In tak­ing this de­ci­sion, what they ac­tu­ally do is to de­prive work­ers (of the chance) to hon­our him but rather get them to work,” the union said.

Be­tween Thurs­day and yes­ter­day, more re­tail­ers and chains an­nounced their de­ci­sions to close for the fu­neral.

Fur­ni­ture Group El­ler­ines Hold­ings, which op­er­ates El­ler­ines, Beares, Fur­ni­ture City, Dial-a-Bed, Geen & Richards and Wetherlys, said its stores were clos­ing.

“The de­ci­sion was taken as a mark of re­spect for Madiba and to en­able our em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers to spend time with their fam­i­lies, to fol­low the fu­neral pro­ceed­ings on na­tional tele­vi­sion or to at­tend a me­mo­rial ser­vice…” said Rob Dodds, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer.

Fur­ni­ture com­pany Cori- craft will also be closed.

Cin­ema mul­ti­plex group Ster-Kinekor said it would sus­pend the screen­ing of all films for the first show across its cine­mas tomorrow morn­ing.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Fiaz Ma­homed said: “As the coun­try mourns the loss of its fa­ther and our first demo­crat­i­cal­ly­elected pres­i­dent, it is only fit­ting we all spend time re­flect­ing on his legacy and cel­e­brat­ing his life, as he is laid to rest.”

This mixed bag of choices has left the man­age­ments of many malls with a sit­u­a­tion where they will be only part op­er­a­tional.

V&A Water­front spokes­woman Carla White said: “Trade at the V&A Water­front for all shops, restau­rants and leisure ten­ants is op­tional. We will not en­force reg­u­lar trad­ing hours and there is no penalty for ten­ants who opt not to trade.”

She added The Fos­chini Group had de­cided to do­nate the first R1 mil­lion in sales made tomorrow to the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Fund and the Man­dela Rhodes Schol­ar­ship Foun­da­tion.

Canal Walk spokes­woman Vanessa Herbst said the mall would be open.

“While we un­der­stand se­lected re­tail­ers have de­cided to close for trade in hon­our of Madiba, most of our re­tail­ers will trade as usual.

“We will be flight­ing the fu­neral on our tele­vi­sion and big screen in the Food Court,” she said.

Cavendish Square is also of­fer­ing op­tional trad­ing to its ten­ants. Mar­ket­ing man­ager Tanja Ger­ber said 60 per­cent of ten­ants would be trad­ing.

Some stores at Gar­dens Cen­tre will not be trad­ing.

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