Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Jun 2010

2010 WORLD CUP: It's Business As Usual


Recent Western Cape Business News

A survey by the Cape Chamber of Commerce of a cross section of its membership has found that the World Cup and the influx of visitors has had little effect on business with most firms reporting normal trading.

Albert Schuitmaker, Director of the Chamber, said that companies near the Green Point Stadium such as those trading in the V & A Waterfront had reported an upsurge of business but this was not the general picture.

One very pleasing finding of the survey was that there has been no increase in uncontrolled absenteeism. We think the problem was anticipated and largely sorted out in negotiations with staff. Many took formal leave and some companies changed working hours to allow employees to watch selected games. As a result productivity losses were kept to a minimum and there are indications that relations between management and staff benefitted.”

It was also clear that school holidays influenced business activity as it was “leave season” for many people, especially those with families. Road closures also disrupted trading.

The survey which was conducted by telephone (calls were initiated by the Chamber) found that the effect varied according to the nature of the business. One leading retail chain which specialises in outdoor clothing reported surge in sales but says the pattern was skewed and their Canal Walk store was virtually sold out its stocks of winter wear.

By contrast a leading firm of outfitters which deals in formal wear found that sales were down despite the fact that their store is situated on the Fifa Fan Walk. “Our usual customers did not come to town to avoid traffic congestion and parking problems while football fans on holiday are not customers for formal wear,” the Chamber was told.

Two franchises of a steak house also reported a drop in patronage despite the installation of large-screen TV sets. In one case a Paarl restaurant took only 20 percent of its normal take for a Friday afternoon. “People stayed at home to watch the games in their on TV sets,” the restaurant spokes person said.

Factories and companies in the service industries reported normal trade and productivity except where early closings had been negotiated. Some companies reported an increase in sales in the build-up to the World Cup but a levelling off once the tournament began. They are hoping for improvements as the tournament moves towards a climax.

There were also some surprising boosts with one pharmacy reporting the sale of 400 pairs of earplugs in just two days.

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