South African retailer The Foschini Group lost 99,000 trading hours in the three months through September because of rolling blackouts.
That’s more than four times the lost hours in the same period last year. The total for the first half of TFG’s financial year was 132,000, according to a trading update published on Tuesday.
The Cape Town-based clothing chain’s announcement highlights the impact power cuts have on businesses in Africa’s most industrialized economy.
Despite installed capacity of more than 40,000 megawatts, Eskom struggles to keep the lights on due to old coal-fired plants that keep breaking down.
The utility has implemented electricity rationing on 54 days of the third quarter and on 140 days this year.
While many businesses and shopping malls have invested in backup power systems to ensure continuous electricity supply, that adds to running costs, especially after the price of diesel and gasoline reached record highs earlier this year.
Despite the lost business hours, TFG Africa’s retail turnover grew 17% in the first half of its financial year and total group turnover was 24% higher.