JOHANNESBURG – The South African furniture retail unit of Steinhoff International plans to cut 4,110 jobs as it closes stores as part of structural changes to revamp the ailing retailer, a trade union said on Monday.
The unit, JD Group, last week served notice to workers that proposes restructuring expected to affect 4,110 workers, the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union said in a statement.
JD Group, along with other retailers in Africa’s most advanced economy, has been struggling in recent years as consumers battling job losses and high personal debt levels cut back on spending.
Steinhoff, which gained a controlling stake in JD Group in 2012, last year bought the rest of the furniture group’s shares and delisted it from the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
The union claims JD Group cut more than 6,000 jobs last year as it pressed ahead with cost-cutting at stores such as Joshua Doore and Russells which sell beds, cabinets and televisions on in-store credit to low income customers.
The retailer will close 251 of around 1,200 stores as part of the restructuring, the union said.
JD Group officials were not immediately available to comment.
Steinhoff, which on Friday announced its intentions to buy Britain’s Home Retail, moved its primary listing to Frankfurt last year.