While stories told about Payless Supermarket in the last two years have been about ‘death’, following an imminent bitter divorce with its direct competitor – Choppies Enterprises, the new owners speak ‘life’ to the resurrected retail giant.
The supermarket is now owned by Payless Retail Proprietary Limited, which in turn is owned by Ellis Retail Group – a company under the Acute Global Limited group of companies.
Facing financial crisis and imminent liquidation, Payless closed most of its stores across the country in April 2020 after one of the creditors – Choppies Enterprise petitioned the High Court. As is so common with every company struggling to effect a turnaround strategy in the wake of financial difficulties, job losses was one of the things that happened at Payless.
The new owners recently concluded the exercise of offering employment contracts for all 200 staff members to be effective April 1st 2021. The company says it decided to retain and absorb all staff as part of its turn-around strategy to ensure there were no job losses in this transition.
Elliot Moshoke – CEO of Acute Global Limited which is the investment holding company for the “new” Payless, shared that the acquisition is aimed at asserting the ambition of a proudly Botswana citizen owned entity aiming to be amongst the regionally competitive retail companies.
“Despite the challenges that Covid-19 presents in today’s economy, we are hopeful that the Payless brand is one that every Motswana connects to and we aspire to groom it to one that we can all be proud of, once again” said Mr. Moshoke.
When addressing the staff members at the Main Mall Payless store as part of the staff engagement workshops held across all 8 branches, the head of corporate affairs at Acute Global Limited, Ms. Omphile Visagie, stated, “during a transition there are always more questions than answers, however the company appreciates your ability to stay focused and productive in spite of the inevitable uncertainty that change often presents. We look forward to rebuilding Payless with you as we enter into this new era.”