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Woolies denies losing R8m a month because of boycotts

Woolworths says it has not taken a financial knock, but continues to increase sales.

Woolworths says it has not taken a financial knock, but continues to increase sales. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Woolworths says claims it's losing almost R8 million a month because of a boycott campaign are wrong.

A group calling itself the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P) on Monday released a report which arrived at the figure by gauging public support on social media for its campaign to boycott the retailer for doing business with Israeli companies.

The NC4P, ANC Youth League and the Congress of South African Students in the Western Cape released the report yesterday.

The NC4P wants to put pressure on Woolworths to stop buying products from the Jewish state.

NC4P says at least 4 million people supports its campaign to boycott Woolworths.

Chairperson for the coalition, reverend Edwin Arrison says they also conducted a survey of 4,000 people, which 92 percent of them pledged their support for the boycott.

The group says because Woolworths claims less than 1 percent of its goods are from Israel, it should be easy for the retailer to stop its business trade with the country.

"We are beginning to see the campaign grow. People have begun to say to us they support what we do and some said 'we are with you', saying they will start closing their accounts."

Woolworths' management says they've not taken a financial knock and have continued to increase sales.

The retailer has questioned how the NC4P could have arrived at the claim that it's suffering monthly loses.

The NC4P report claims Woolworths has lost approximately R31 million since the start of the campaign.

The retail giant has also become the focus of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign aimed at compelling companies to end trade relationships with Israel over its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

The BDS group launched its boycott Woolworths campaign in August this year during the seven-week war between Israel and Palestine in Gaza.