It’s not hard to see why investors are uncertain about whether they should put their money into local retail shares this year.

Returns in 2023 were hardly inspiring: from the best performer, TFG, with a  9.8% gain, to the worst, Pick n Pay, with a 59% plunge. Load-shedding continues, consumer debt is cripplingly high and rising, the economy is stuttering — and there’s an election to boot...

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