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By Alois Vinga
LEADING retail chain, OK Zimbabwe has cancelled its headline annual promotion, the Grand Challenge promotion due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic lockdowns.
In a statement, the group’s company secretary Margaret Munyuru said this year they could not run the biggest annual promotion, the OK Grand Challenge Jackpot Promotion, because of the disruption caused by COVID-19.
She said revenue for the first quarter of 2020 was below prior year by 13 %.
Sales volumes for the quarter were 32.7% below the same period in prior year while profit margins remained within expectations.
“The business environment continued to be challenging due to instability in the market. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown measures limited trading hours and the movement of people,” she said.
Munyuru said the reduction in operating hours disrupted production and supply to the stores as well as constrained activity.
“Currency depreciation resulted in frequent price increases in a situation of limited disposable incomes, leading to subdued demand. Generally, however, the stores were reasonably stocked since the lockdown started on 30th March 2020,” she said.
“Currency depreciation resulted in frequent price increases in a situation of limited disposable incomes, leading to subdued demand. Generally, however, the stores were reasonably stocked since the lockdown started on 30th March 2020.”
To minimise the impact of the pandemic and the lockdown the company continues with monitoring the following measures like providing personal protective equipment to all staff; temperature checks of staff, customers and other stakeholders on entering the company premises.
The leading supermarket said it will continue to allow a limited number of customers in the stores at any one time to promote and maintain social distancing.
“With assistance from public health practitioners, enhance hygienic procedures including provision of sanitisers, hand washing facilities for use by both staff and our customers and increased frequency of cleaning of facilities. Engaging suppliers to ensure availability of merchandise for trading in the stores,” Munyuru added.