Retailers close, donate profits as mark of respect
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.