■Peoples Trading Center (PTC), a franchise under Press Corporation Limited has been sold to Tafika Holdings Limited which is owned by a South African-based Malawian Arson Malola, FaceofMalawi can confirm.
Chief Executive Officer for Peoples-Ferdinand Mchacha has confirmed in an interview with the local press that Tafika Holdings Limited has acquired 100% of the shares in PTC from Press Corporation Limited.
The development however comes as for years the franchise has been struggling to raise capital for the smooth running of its operations, which led to the closure of many of its stores.
According to Mchacha, the move is aimed at recapitalizing PTC and restoring it to its former glory as well as expanding its operation in the country and beyond the region.
“As a company, we have been struggling with capital inadequacy for the past 8 years due to some serious capital losses that came about due to a number of factors including stock losses, shrinkage among others.
Over the years there were so many initiatives happening for partial recapitalization but we felt the time had come that we needed to make a big capital injection through this recapitalization process”. Said Mchacha.
Meanwhile, the development did not go well with some of the store’s employees who stormed Press Corporation Limited (PCL) Head Office at Top Mandala in Blantyre, demanding an explanation on the decision by the conglomerate to recapitalize the chain store.
One of the employees has told the local press on condition of anonymity that they fear the move is going to lead to job losses at the chain store.
However, Chief Executive Officer for the Corporation, Lyton Chithambo has dispelled fears of retrenchment and job losses for existing workers, saying the company will be expanding from 20 existing stores to about 200 in the next five years hence creating more job opportunities.
“We are looking at expanding, so we are actually looking at employing more people and not reducing the existing number. Currently, we got only about 20 Stores in Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Zomba, we are looking at opening stores in Mzuzu and all over the country. This whole recapitalization was done to save people’s jobs.” Explained Chithambo.
Mchacha further disclosed that Peoples Trading Center will not be rebranding to change its name and will maintain its other franchise of SPAR as well as Food Lovers stores.
PTC will be carrying out its recapitalization process for Five years starting with restocking the stores, capacity building for its stuff as well as upgrading some of its stores apart from opening new stores across the country and within the region.