The 9th of July marks one year since a wave of civil unrest destroyed thousands of shops and properties in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Durban’s iconic Makro store based in Springfield was severely damaged, succumbing to a huge fire, destroying much of its infrastructure. But after just five months, it was able to reopen in December 2021.
Makro Springfield General Manager, Sue-Anne Jones says, “We want to welcome back our loyal customers and honour them as well as celebrate our associates who have supported us during this very difficult time. To welcome our shoppers’ home, there will be incredible in-store deals and promotions – it’s our way of saying thank you.”
Makro were quick in their resolve, ensuring that none of the staff were left without jobs, redeploying them to other stores in KwaZulu-Natal. The loss of Makro was felt by so many small-business owners in the community because they were used to buying in bulk at competitive prices. Many families also suffered due to job losses as well as the inconvenience of not having access to basic supplies.
The reopening of this store was a symbol of Marko Springfield’s rebirth and renewal and according to Marketing Vice President at Massmart Wholesale, Judy Gounden it would not have been possible without the support of our loyal customers. The brand new store offers a refreshed and innovative design, customer focused hubs, a garden centre, digitally enhanced express checkout tills and reduced carbon footprints. In 2016, Makro South Africa announced they were planning to reduce their environmental footprint by installing solar panels in all their parking lots. During the riots last year, every single one of these solar panels were stolen. They have since been replaced so Makro Springfield can continue saving energy, reduce running costs and improve the in-store environment and customer shopping experience.
Nationally, Makro has 22 stores and employs people from the communities that it serves.