Game Stores to pull out of Malawi

South African retailer Game Shop has for the past 9 weeks been running its bottom low prices on items in what inside sources say is a strategy to offload wares as it prepares to shut down in Malawi.

Despite having all tell-tale signs frustration due to the punitive widerange of taxes brought in by government under its zero-deficit budget, Game managers in Lilongwe and Blantyre were not willing to comment on the matter.

When Nyasa Timesapproached the executives in Lilongwe and introduced the subject our reporter was simply ushered out while in Blantyre the managers kept referring us from one office to another.

Game: To close shop

Government has been adamant not to remove business taxes which have partly led to increasing of goods prices and squeezed profits from retail businesses as they are now paying over 70 percent of their net profit in taxes which does not make business sense.

Observations by Nyasa Times reveal that Game shop is offering very low prices with some brand new laptop computers going at K70,000 down from the market price of K150,000.

Some shop attendants said “They will not admit because there have been meetings with government and it seems they have hit a blank that is why there are low prices on offer to clear off Game warehouses and if you look closely no new goods are coming in.”

Government brought in many taxes meant to generate more local revenue to support its recurrent budget after donors halted budgetary support.

Already Press Corporation Limited (PCL) have reduced its workforce under subsidiary PTC and Peoples in rural areas and another international retailer, Shoprite is also seriously considering closing shop.

If the two close the numbers of the unemployed will increase as many others are also being offloaded due to forex shortages.

Advise from main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for government to dump the zero-deficit budget, as it has proved costly to consumers with more pressure on businesses, has clearly fallen on deaf ears.

Game Stores has 88 shops in the whole of Africa and the shops spread in the countries of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mauritius, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi and South Africa.

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