PTC closes 20 shops: ‘Trying harder in Malawi economic turmoil’

Peoples Trading Centre (PTC) Limited, a subsidiary of Press Corporation Limited (PCL), one of Malaw’s oldest companies as well as  biggest retailer shops  is closing down 20 shops as the economic situation gets worse in this tiny landlocked country.

PTC closing shops

PTC closing shops

Peoples closing shops

Peoples closing shops

PTC chief executive officer Ken Mthunzi told a news conference at PTC headquarters in Blantyre on Monday that the move is strategic for business growth amid tough economic environment.

Mthunzi however said the 202 workers in these shops will not be fired as they would just be transferred to other shops.

“What we have done is to reposition our business so that we should be making profits from those shops,” Mthunzi said.

“The closed shops were operating at a loss and we thought that it was sensible to maintain them.”

Among the closed shops are Luchenza Municipality in Thyolo, Muloza in Mulanje, Mangochi Express in Mangochi, Malosa outlet in Zomba, Kamwendo in Mchinji, Namitete in Lilongwe .

Other shops that have been closed are Ntcheu, Kasungu, Dowa close Chileka, Chilomoni, Magalasi, Dalton Road in Blantyre.

He said: “The decision is part of the company’s overall strategic initiative of business consolidation and growth aimed at improving customer’s accessibility to the shops and increasing productivity.”

This is not the first time that PTC has reacted in this way due to the economic crisis under the former Minister of Finance and Economic Affair Mathews Chikaonda for Press Group of companies.

Last year most companies have complained of tough times due to economic crisis the country is facing.

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) the national tax collector has failed to meet its target as the Peter Mutharika administration grapples with zero aid budget as traditional donors and partners have opted to freeze aid to among other things cashgate.

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56 thoughts on “PTC closes 20 shops: ‘Trying harder in Malawi economic turmoil’”

  1. The Most Concerned says:

    Which Kasungu People’s has bin closed? Zabodza zimenezi, am in the same Shop buying bread right now.

  2. Sapitwa says:

    PTC was doing well in those days because foreign trading businesses could not have been allowed in Malawi. There was no good reason why we could need them in Malawi and Kandodo was another alternative for foreign merchandise. Countries protect their domestic businesses by blocking entry if companies that just finish our forex for importing even eggs and vegetables.South Africa protects her domestic businesses such as car manufacturers. No scraps we buy here are allowed entry on the local market.
    Secondly PCL CEO has never done any good to the group. This at one time mighty business with a healthy balance sheet and cash flow could have divested and invested wisely over the years and it could have made presence in other African countries. We needed PCL to have invested in cement manufacturing,fertilizer manufacturing, cooking oil manufacturing,horticulture etc. Unfortunately Chikaonda has missed such many opportunities. He is not a risk taker and does not seem to be a business guru who could steer the company. He is failure and those who hired him are business clueless.

  3. kukhala says:

    CHIKAONDA CHIKUWONDESA PCL INSTEAD OF KUKULISA BUSINESS

  4. Balamanthu says:

    Since Mathews Chikaonda took over the management of PCL in 2002 forced by one AKB, this guy has shrunk the size of the group to 10% of what it is today.He managed to close down Press Agriculture, Maldeco is struggling, Press Cane is suffering, Carlsberg makes very little profits and closed a number of subsidiaries.Chinanso bambowa kudya mkhola momo has spoilt the management set up.The bonuses they pay each other at Head office, the car allowances that Directors get in millions per month are not warranted.If one looks at the PCL Balance shet and you remove NBM revenue, PCL is worth nothing and it does not need an engineer like me to see that.Chikaonda, his management and the entire Board hold PCL in trust.The question is do we trust this trype of management?The answer is no.He has even bribed his way to covert from being contractual staff to retire at 65.Zoona?This guy came back from Canada with nothing and is currently the richest guy in town and tell me which beautiful skirt he hasnt visited?

  5. Max says:

    Malawi Is Still Detoriating Interms Of Economic Development. This Is A Very Sad Motion

  6. Mlendo says:

    #44 u r more than an Idiot!!!!!

  7. Yokwiya says:

    Zinayamba chomchi ndi Hardware & General Dealers yomwe inali ponse ponse m’Malawi. History is just repeating itself with Chikaonda at the helm. Twenty shops were closed, then another ten then five then the whole company. Tiyeni nazoni!!! But main problem is that these companies die because they fail to compete with other traders, they are top-heavy and management are clueless as to what they can do to change with times. Kamuzu should be turning and turning in his grave to see his dreams going to waste. Shame!!!

  8. Noortwaha says:

    Hahaha kma vuto amakhala ma big man spending lots of money pamene akuwona kti sizikuyenda bwino

  9. jiyan says:

    That’s the consequences of employing managers who are not qualified. That’s the consequences of not using computers in the shops. Its very difficult to detect fraud if you are on manual systems. If you find a manager with a Junior Certificate at the Head Office, what about in shops. Cheap labour cost them a lot. See how much the employees are getting from PTC. These employees know the tricks for survival. They will be closing for sure. Not innovative management

  10. paul says:

    Our Governor says he was suprised how businesses are operating, well Mr Chuka have you now seen the effects of kwacha loss, people dont have money, the kwacha loss has eroded peoples purchasing power, and this will mean more businesses will close down, Government needs to act now and stablise the kwacha before we turn into beggars.

  11. Truth says:

    Do you know what is killing PTC? They cant change with the times. Although the country is poor on average, it is also a fact that many Malawians are becoming more educated and more sophisticated in their needs. PTC cant cope with the emerging new, more sophisticated and vibrant players like Sana, Shoprite, Chipiku, Lebanese shops, Game and others. You SNOOZE, you LOOSE.

  12. dada says:

    The border between poor Malawi and the rich Northern Malawi is at Jenda. Check the stats at NSO in ZA. While the rest of the country is complaining of tough economic times and having their retail shops winding up because people’s buying power has eroded, the North is busking in affluence and keeps on buying. No PTC shop closed in the North. That’s why North wants either cessesion or federation so that it can propel its economy forward. This Lomwe govt is delaying developments.

  13. Jabu says:

    Ma shop enawa amwenye samalipira msonkho,katundu amalowetsa mozembetsa mdziko muno nde mitengo yawo yotsika they dont loose at all, MRA busy kutolera misinkho in small struggling Malawin shops leaving out big ones amangowapatsa fanta basi zatha

  14. Human Being says:

    Greedy directors and management, when they decide to do cost cutting the first thought that comes to their mind closing shop and making people redundant. This is disgusting and appalling on their behalf, Why dont these directors start with themselves first why put all the burden on the employee, Why didn’t they start by cutting unecessary costs that they burden the company with; For example
    1. Why should the director continue to drive a 70 million kwacha vehicle give it up the company cant afford it that’s cost cutting !!!!!
    2. Why should the director and his family have the company pay their air fare when they are going on holiday overseas? give it up the company cant afford it !!!!
    3. Why should the directors children have school fees paid for by the company at the most expensive schools in Malawi and sometimes over seas, Why cant you cut that????
    4. Why should the directors recieve big Christmas bonuses???? why cant you give that up????
    5. Why doesn’t the company sell off the expensive cottages at the lake to cut costs????
    6. Why hold conferences and extravagant parties when you know that the company is not performing.
    7. Why should the directors have 10 employees at their residence all paid by the company? Why cant you cut costs there????
    I believe a good boss is a boss that makes sacrifices first and if all that fails then move to cutting costs in other areas. Its no good hiding all your failures as management behind all that luxury. It is the directors and management fault for not coming up with fresh strategies in order to remain competitive on the market they should resign and let somebody else take over. Shame on you shame on you !!!!!!!!
    Just remember what ever you do down here on earth you will be held accountable when you leave from this earth.Poor or rich we all end up in the same place 6 feet under when our time is up,

  15. Khwethemu says:

    No need to blame Chikaonda. He knows his stuff. Some of u have quoted Kasungu shop which is neva busy nowadays. It used to be busy long time ago but there is Sana competing for the same few customers. You want PTC to still maintain the same number of shops and then die a natural death. Look at PTC shops, dilapidated n pathetic. Close these loss making shops and invest in profit making ones. Chikaonda is a genius. Thats what we call Economics. Business is about making profits.

  16. Kalekeni Kanene says:

    Zomvetsa chisoni abale. PCL and other companies in Malawi need to be purged of the old dead wood of managers. Prolonged stay of managers leads to collapsing of companies. I knew Mlusu as a Manager for Nico in 1988. Ididnt know that he is still there. How can a person be a manager in a company for more than 28 yrs? He is now a life manager like Kamuzu. Please make way for young ones. Chikaonda must also go. PCL is going down because he is out of ideas. Air Malawi disappeared after many years of bleeding due to mismanagement as a result of having a life Manager Cpt Mchungula for almost 18 yrs and died in office. My question is when will Malawi start bringing energetic new managers?. Malawi is having too many Mugabes.

  17. Umboni Chalo says:

    Malawians are so jealous of Professor Chikaonda. Anakulakwirani chani. That he is Malawis most intelligent is a fact… accept it. And with these comments you can just tell that the majority are employees of press. If you hate him osangosiya nctito bwanji and go and find another boss????????????????

  18. Zuze says:

    Chikaondaeconomics at play! When are you retiring? Can’t you think of dealership or franchising under Peoples? This guy needs to retire.

  19. Maseko says:

    PALI ANTHU AWA MULUSU NICO PATRIAGE NATIONAL BANK CHIKAWONDA BOLA IWO ZIDZIWAYENDERA KOMA KUTI ATUKULE COMPANY KAPENA KUTHANDIZA DZIKO AYI BOLA MIMBA ZAWO ZIKUTUPA FIRE THEM PLIZ

  20. mlauzi says:

    Have you tried other strategies such as pricing, promotional campaigns etc.? Closure of the said outlets should really be the last resort after everything else has failed. It is true that other retailers will see opportunities where you have closed.

    I really do not believe that you can close 20 outlets and retain the same workforce. Such a move will actually increase the break – even point for the remaining outlets as they will absorb huge overheads. I suspect PTC are trying to avoid the cost of retrenching staff here and may have a hidden strategy to offload staff through natural wastage.

    Agreeing with other commentators, I really do not understand how you could operate Kasungu and for that matter even Luchenza PTC at a loss. Economic activities at these centres will spur demand. I suspect a serious case of mismanagement here. What measures have you put in place to control pilferage/ wastage?

  21. Green Kunyenga says:

    When the team is not perfoming you fire the coach. Let us try new leaders.From the executive to bussiness captains

  22. onachi says:

    PTC behaves like its the only shop in the country. Their prices are out of reach for an average earning person and it seems to ignore the fact that they operate in a highly competitive industry. As such most of us only go in PTC when pressed for time etc but we do not actually start off home with an intention to get groceries from PTC. Not to talk about the behaviour of their ‘prized’ staff….

  23. Thomas says:

    Chula you said complained are still operating and there is no problem with economy and businesses should sacrifice now can you see the effects of the devaluation of the kwacha get ready there aRe more closing soon as people cannot keep up with inflation and kwacha devaluation

  24. Benjones says:

    Shame shame

  25. TrueMalawian says:

    The signs were there long time ago but PCL executive had no ideas to reverse the situation. PCL Board is to blame because it is very inefficient and controlled by Chikaonda.

    This is a tip of the iceberg, there is more rot in Maldeco, MTL. and at PCL Head office itself. I don’t understand why the government extended Chikaonda’s contract which was expiring in March 2016 but will be around until December. What can he do now what he has failed to do in more that 12 years? Maybe closing more businesses I guess.

    Chikaonda is a big liability but somehow has managed to get away with it. But wait until the wheel fall off when they lose the PressCane case to Mr Patel. Maybe its a good idea that Chikaonda should be around when it happens. Its not a matter of if but when.

    Trustees do you see what I see?

  26. Kamtedza Mwale says:

    Last year most companies have complained of tough times…. mmmmmmh? EN 101 please.

  27. sain it like it is says:

    not competitive enough..poor customer service that is why most people shop elsewhere…if u had a proper customer caring staff am sure u would get lots of people coming into those shops

  28. Watson says:

    Koma Mathews Chikaonda is good at closing down Press Portfolios, after this, what else…National Bank? iiiiih, wanyanya Chikaonda. Press Glass, Press Agriculture, Press Furniture, PTC shops, wekha!!

  29. Dya Mani says:

    Its not the economy but Chikaonda at the helm and failure to stand the heat against other chains like Chipiku, Sana and ma Chiba!

  30. swiswiri mbewa says:

    Economic downturn likely to worsen with time as we are now a poor rainfall regime in two consecutive years. The government should wake up to device strategies to mitigate the food crisis anticipated ahead.

  31. lackison says:

    Kodi chikaonda kasungu ptc is one of them ? Are u not serious. Kodi contract yanu bwana to be chief of executive is for how long? U have made press miserable. A chief executive must be contracted for 2 consecutive 3 year term only . I say only.lol

  32. Economy Bweya says:

    Why Closing Kasungu Shop?That Shop Was Assisting More People And Its Difficult To Believe That Shop was Operating Under Loss.

  33. kimwanza says:

    If you see that your has failled to run that bussiness why dont you franchise those shops to poor malawians than closing down

  34. In the fight for customers PTC/Metro cannot win against Chipiku plus, Sana, Shoprite etc, coz your prices are generally on the higher side. PTC please wake up otherwise you’ll close all shops!!!!!!

  35. Frederick Chidziyendera says:

    There are so many businesses which are facing the similar problem it’s not only PTC, even families,churches,village banks ,etc.The list is endless,they are breaking or closing due to the so called “economic turmoil” Where are you “Mr Obama wa Ku Malawi”?

  36. “The closed shops were operating at a loss and we thought that it was sensible to maintain them” Reall,y Nyasatimes? I don’t believe Ken Mnthunzi or Mthunzi, said this. What happened to nyasatimes editorial? Spellings, tenses, grammar and all asks a lot to be desired.

  37. David Bowie says:

    Shoprite and other retailers will open shops in the same areas and thrive. The problem is Press with its aged management headed by Chikaonda. These aged people have no new innovative ideas apart from waiting for profits from easy outlets of National Bank and TNM.

  38. cimanga mfiti says:

    cikaonda nde inaso ndipsi,

  39. cimanga mfiti says:

    ndlama bwana anakapangila beauty contest ku UK. US pena titi a celeb mu OK magazine(times magazine) hehedeeeeee . kodi kudzitsatsa koteroko, mundiuza kuti maiko a kunjawo acina obama ,kamiloni sadziwa kuti kuli malawi?????? apa nde mwaonetsa kupusa konse, ndeemwe amatsogolela zotelezi nde macende ake. nde gudo lendelende kutulutsa figure yoti apeleke ku magazine kampany mmalo mogula mankhwala mu zipatala. zakudya za ma patieint, MANJA NDI MAU A MAKISONI MBENEDERA UNALOLA KUTI pitala nde akhale plesdent nzimenezi. kunyada a mw kusafuna kugonja. mathanyula uyu akutentheka ndi nkhani ya ma gay osetekana nsetewa. uona uphulika nazo
    nkanakonda mukanaona mai bwana wa ku spain kuti amunyoka ndi corruption anacita 199cakuti ija, wathu JB ANAGOTI pacepa ndi thawe, ngati galu othawa wana akaswa.kkkkkkkkkk a whore weni weni, mubarak ndi wana wake awakwenyaso, ifetu ayi basi azingotidyetsa nsete zao zi pitala ndi nkazazke getu, etc . wa boma aliyeseyo anaononga ndalama za boma sanamamngibweko, amangosintha mpando pena office. anthu olembedwa ncito mbwee koma kuncitoko sapita ndipo ngakhale pepala alibe, sisitemu ya pa malawi basi ya ignorance . ncifukw3a mphathe zina zimafuna kusintha national anthem kuthawa cilungamo cili mu nyimbo muja agalu inu.

  40. becks says:

    Haters of Chikaonda why were you not chosen to manage Press Trust yourselves. Kumangolongola basi. Inuyo what are you doing. Envious Malawians

  41. nyanja says:

    Business people need to be innovative to survive in the global and domestic market. Zinazi osamangonamizira a president.

  42. can some one educate me on who owned PTC and now Peoplez some one told me Peoplez is owned by South African company but here it reads Press Trust.

  43. selfish decision says:

    What’s next to be closed coz this is the start of trouble. This shows that companies will eventually cant withstand the blows from MRA which is hitting hard on our bussines .

  44. this is a sad news as kasungu shop is one of the biggest shop in green gold municiple. where are we going malawian. so help as God

  45. mmalawi okhumudwa says:

    campany yopanda chikondi ndi anthu ake iyi, employees are geting peanuts nde kut pakhale redundancy aluza zambiri….serious company yi ikuyendetsedwa ndi mbuli yomva zake zokha.

  46. Green Grass says:

    Sign that the economy is on a wrong footing and what message is this sending to prospective investors? It’s even more worrying that the Kasungu shop is one of those affected. Given the economic status of the district this shop should have been earmarked for expansion.

  47. cnkhuto says:

    On the same economic hardship, National Bank, FDH Bank, Gaming Board and many businesses have registered huge profits. People in peoples steal too much and when they have the shortage, they inflate the prices of other goods for make-up. That’s why items in peoples are very expensive as compared to Chipiku and quick save. This is just the beginning, you will close even more shops. My boy business last year performed better as compared to 2014 and 2013. Inu mukupanga ma loses zanu Ife timaiwerenga pa tauni. In fact business ya ma groceries inalowa libolonje, do other businesses people, be creative rather than wasting time blaming Muthalika as if he is the one controlling rainfall here. Stupid.

  48. paul mbalame says:

    Chikaonda is just a failure how he is at the helm of biggest firm in malawi is beyond belief. Solution here is repozition brands in store to cater for people with their budget how r chipiku and shoprite making bumper profits

  49. WAMISALA says:

    ZAYAMBIKA !!
    .ZAYAMBIKA !!

  50. Former Malawian says:

    Proffesor Chikaonda is just full of academic theories and no guts to really run a conglomerate like Press Trust. Since he came at the helm Press has been closing subsidiaries and becoming smaller and smaller. How can our economy grow if our biggest companies fail to grow? How are the retail chains expanding while PTC is shrinking? Recently the brand PTC was killed and he brought in Spar!

  51. Said mondwe says:

    Apa nde zativuta kaya tipanga chani pa malawi apa!

  52. Tengupenya says:

    Business have to break even to survive. If not, what is the point? The staff are lucky if they can indeed be absorbed I other outlets. However, talking business, this is really surprising. How can the other outlets absorb additional staff? Are they expanding somehow? Otherwise this story will repeat itself in the outlets that will be overstated. It would be better to have prepared the affected staff for employee buyouts of the outlets which the Press Trust is offloading. Transferring problems is not a reprieve.

  53. George says:

    Bad economic indicator

  54. Monseriwa says:

    Zitithera bwanji kaya. God help our mother Malawi.

  55. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Yet ma shops owned by Burundians and asians are coming in to fill the void! Chikaonda is nothing but a glorified liquidator of companies!

Comments are closed.