Retail innocents abroad
Better to travel in hope than arrive for retailers seeking new fortunes
The slew of write-downs from locally listed retailers that bought overseas companies show these purchases have not only failed to meet expectations, they continue to lose shareholders billions of rands.
Big South African retailers have enjoyed strong domestic growth over the past 20 years. There aren't many possible acquisitions left locally that can boost earnings, and local growth is stagnant. So, caught between a rock and a hard place, they've bought overseas.