the walmart intervention
Inside Mitch Slape’s plan to get Massmart’s game back
The fact that Walmart has sent someone so senior to SA shows its commitment to turn Massmart around. But is this the last throw of the dice? Not if you listen to the new CEO talk about giving Game back its personality, gush about Builders Warehouse and mull over a new Africa strategy
Mitch Slape sits clutching a large Starbucks travel cup with the word "Japan" neatly printed on it. "It holds a lot of coffee," Massmart’s new CEO says in his thick Kansas twang. His accent may be as broad as the aisles in Makro’s warehouses, but this shouldn’t be a surprise: he comes from a place which he says still has "more cows than people — and lots of wheat".
That cup says much more about Slape than his need for extra caffeine: it speaks to his corporate American DNA, refined over 20 years at Walmart, and evokes his previous secondment by the world’s largest retailer as head of its Japanese arm.