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Local hardware bemoans 50% drop in business


ONE of Bulawayo’s leading hardware and retail outlets, Sunny Store, has bemoaned a drop of 50% in sales during the first half of the year attributed to the prevailing liquidity crunch and the general lack of disposable income.


Sunny Store started operations in Bulawayo in the 1980s and has seven branches. It offers a wide range of products such as electrics, building materials and furniture.

In an interview with Southern Eye Business yesterday, Sunny Store director Rajendra Chauhan said the economic environment, characterised by declining consumption and falling product prices, has had an adverse effect on hardware business.

“At the moment there is no business to talk about. The business is very low and there is no money.

“Sales have gone drastically down by 50% compared to 100% achieved last year,” Chauhan said.

“However, we believe that as time goes on things would be normalised.”

Chauhan was quick to brush aside the perception that Bulawayo was a dying city, saying the current economic hardships would be overcome.

This year, a number of retail shops in Bulawayo and Zimbabwe in general recorded low sales as compared to the previous year mainly due to combined effects of persistent liquidity constraints, very low foreign direct investment inflows and low prices on exported commodities.

Combined effects led to further reduction in manufacturing capacity utilisation and worsening unemployment both of which have a negative effect on consumption.

Prices of goods declined across the various generics with the government statistical office reporting negative inflation of 0,91% by March 2014.

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