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Bloomberg reports that in South Africa, Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman is conceding that Walmart’s acquisition of 51 percent of Massmart Holdings there presents a “huge challenge” for the company.

“It is going to make businesses a lot more competitive and bring prices down,” Ackerman reportedly said in a speech to the Cape Town Press Club. “We are dramatically changing our business to deal with those challenges.”

According to the story, “Pick n Pay plans to fire 3,137 workers, or 8.6 percent of the workforce, it said July 6 after profit plunged 29 percent in the six months through Feb. 28 and the company lost market share to bigger rival Shoprite Holdings Ltd.

“Job eliminations are necessary because unions refused to let their members work more flexible hours, Ackerman said. ‘Our business has to be more competitive,’ the chairman said. ‘We have to be more productive’.”
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