It’s a sad day when legacy businesses have to close up shop, oftentimes due to failure to innovate and keep up with the times, not adapting to changing consumer demands, or being too slow to transition online.
Even sadder is when none of these are the reason, but rather that business has simply declined due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and consumer layoffs.
Over the past year, consumers have been shocked and saddened as more and more popular and much-loved businesses are bidding farewell.
These are some of the household names that unfortunately, did not make it to the other side:
Part of the Clicks group, Musica announced all their stores will officially close on 31 May 2021.
Since the start of the year, 19 Musica stores have shut down while another 59 are currently trading.
“Musica has been operating in a declining market for several years owing to structural shifts globally to the digital consumption of music,” said Clicks group. This has led to the inevitable demise of the brand, accelerated by Covid-19 and the rapid decline of foot traffic into their stores.
After 37 years of service, the popular Greyhound bus company officially stopped their services on 14 February. Although Greyhound did not reveal what led to its closure decision, South Africa’s lockdown restrictions caused a massive decline in long-distance and inter-provincial travel.
Following the announcement, the Democratice Alliance issued a statement calling for the government to intervene to prevent the shutdown. They believe The closure of Greyhound and Citiliner will leave a massive gap in the affordable long-distance travel sector as thousands of South Africans have for decades relied on these services.
Print media has long been a dying industry but Covid-19 was the nail in the coffin for many publications. Sadly, legacy publications including Media24’s Men’s Health and Women’s Health have ceased operations, while Die Burger moved solely to being a digital publication. In addition, Associated Media, which published Cosmopolitan, House & Leisure, Good Housekeeping and Women on Wheels, shut down in June last year. The closure of the company, established in 1982, was a huge blow to the magazine industry and consumers alike.
Owners of Edgars, Jet and CNA, clothing retail company Edcon filed for bankruptcy. The company revealed to suppliers that they were unable to settle their bills. Lockdown restrictions, which initially banned clothing sales, seemed to be the nail in the coffin for the retailer. CEO Grant Pattison said that it might not be possible for the company to reopen after the lockdown. In a survival plan, the company will be closing a third of its stores over the next two years.
Comair, the owner of Kulula and local operator of British Airways also filed for bankruptcy protection during the lockdown. However, in October last year, the company was able to secure financing from banks, paving the way for the resumption of flights in December. They were also able to reach an agreement with labour unions. While this helped the company survive for now, a dip in demand or reinforced travel restrictions could lead to encorfed closure.