Harare – OK Zimbabwe a leading supermarket retailer whose business covers three major categories, comprising groceries, basic clothing and textiles and houseware products has been suffocated by the current economic status of Zimbabwe and is set to close its two branches OK Cameroon in Harare and the other branch in Bulawayo.
Sources inside the administration told The Southern daily correspondent that the company is facing a hard time ever in the industry. ‘The Company has been facing challenges in operating and the Directors has passed the decision of closing the two underperforming branches OK Cameroon & OK Bulawayo’.
He said the office was busy trying to structure how the work force was going to be handled ‘The HR’s office is busy now trying to sort out what can be done to workers at these branches. It is very unfortunate that some are going to lose their jobs during this hard time especially contract workers’. There is also information that a consultant advised that the Head Office is overstuffed and some employees there will be moved to the shops. .
According to its annual report for last year there is deteriorating graph on its operations in the country ‘Persistent economic headwinds hampered business operations throughout the financial year. Combined effects of drought, very low Foreign Direct Investment inflows, reduced diaspora remittances, liquidity constraints, business failures and retrenchments as well as delayed or non-payment of salaries weakened consumer demand even further than previously’ the annual report says.
Although the Colossal has been in existence since 1942, and has established itself as a customer-oriented retail organization providing comprehensive access to a broad range of retail products and allied services developed in response to its customers’ requirements for convenience and value have proven that it has failed to broaden its wings in the industry.
Its standards has been deteriorating in the previous years resulting in loss of trade to competitors like Choppies Super Market, Food World, Food Lovers among others in the industry.
The Branches have been set to close this coming August. Efforts to have views from the Ok Limited was fruitless as head office telephone numbers were going unanswered to the time of publishing.
report by Panashe Makufa, local correspondent