Edcon serves retrenchment notices to 22,000 employees

The retail company’s business rescue team said in order to save the retail giant from liquidation, staff numbers needed to be reduced as sale figures continued to tumble.

FILE: An Edgars store. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s biggest clothing retailer Edcon has served at least 22,000 employees with notices of retrenchment.

The retail company’s business rescue team on Wednesday said in order to save the retail giant from liquidation, staff numbers needed to be reduced as sale figures continued to tumble.

In March, Edcon announced that it was under business rescue and unable to pay its suppliers.

The embattled retailer - which owns Edgars and Jet, among others – said 22,000 jobs would be axed as it struggled to stay afloat due to debt and weak sales.

In a statement issued by the group, the retail pioneer blamed its demise on the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown.

However, it also acknowledged factors that had contributed to its downfall long before coronavirus gripped the country.

Edcon was among many retail companies in South Africa that faced uncertainty after the industry took a hit during the lockdown, which limited the sale of some clothing items.

LISTEN: Edcon CEO Grant Pattison’s interview on Radio 702

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