Spur boycott affecting some stores, but will ‘ride it out’
A boycott of steakhouse chain Spur, led by a right-wing political party, is having a significant effect on some franchises in the two months since it took effect‚ two franchise owners have said.
In a Facebook post‚ Front National called this a "principle case" and called for no compromising on the issue‚ saying it will not be treated as "second-rate citizens". The boycott stems from an incident in March in which a white man threatened a black woman at Texamo Spur at The Glen Shopping Centre in Johannesburg. The company banned the man from all Spur stores.
Mark Farrelly‚ Spur’s chief operating officer‚ said despite some areas facing some hardship‚ the majority of Spur stores are still "very strong".
The post emphasised that the action was not aimed at the franchise owners‚ some of whom appear to be badly affected by the movement, rather‚ the intended target is the CEO of Spur, Pierre van Tonder. Front National‚ which holds no seats in the National Assembly‚ says the boycott will continue until Van Tonder offers a public apology and resigns.
The Front National post also said: "Both [parties] acted incorrectly and therefore both should be treated the same."
Farrelly said the incident was a "perfect storm" and the company has nothing to apologise for, and that Van Tonder will not be resigning: "More and more people are realising Spur hasn’t done anything wrong and should be commended for taking a stance against violence against women and children."
Farrelly said a lot of customers were already returning to Spur stores across the country.
The boycott appears to have affected several Spur stores. Morné Brown‚ who owns 15 Spurs in and around Durban‚ said his worst affected store is down 45% month on month. "At the end of the day‚ if you’re 45% down‚ you’ve got a lot of workers with kids and people in your business who really need the income‚" he told The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield on Wednesday.
Another store owner‚ Allan Ransom from Ballito‚ who has been in the business 34 years‚ told Whitfield: "We get quite a lot of abuse on social media. We have to ride this one out and do what we do best‚ which is feed the nation and we’re going to just continue doing that."