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Walmart's South African unit to close 34 stores, affecting 1,440 jobs

South African retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd. said Jan. 13 that it plans to close 34 Dion-Wired and Masscash stores, potentially affecting 1,440 jobs.

Massmart, which is 53.06% owned by Walmart Inc. as of Dec. 27, 2019, said the decision follows a store optimization project that highlighted several underperforming stores in the company's portfolio.

As of Aug. 29, 2019, Massmart operated 441 retail and wholesale stores across 13 sub-Saharan countries. The company's brands include Cambridge Food, Builders Warehouse, DionWired, Game, Jumbo Cash & Carry, Makro and Shield.

In its 2019 half-year results, Massmart continued to flag challenges with the South African consumer environment, which accounts for 91.1% of the group's sales.