Business

Business:Covid-19 Forced These Businesses To Close Down Resulting In Major Job Losses

Each and every year hopeful entrepreneurs from all around the world launch their businesses. They imagine making tons of money and dominating their industries. Some get to celebrate their second and even ten year anniversaries while others don’t even get to toast to their sixth month mark.

For one or another reason, many businesses have had to say goodbye to trading, temporarily or permanently. This article explores these businesses that had to close down, particularly focusing on those that were largely impacted by Covid-19.

5 Businesses That Had To Close Their Doors Or Faced Major Financial Stress

Associated Media Publishing (AMP)

In 1982 Jane Raphaely launched Associated Media Publishing and on 1 May 2020, 38 years later, AMP was forced to close its doors.

Associated Media Publishing was one of South Africa’s leading publishers, having published much loved magazines Cosmopolitan SAHouse & Leisure and Women On Wheels. In 2010 Rapahely’s daughter, Julia Raphaely, took over the publishing company as the chief executive, leading the company through the challenges that roam over the publishing industry in South Africa.

Cosmopolitan Sa
Instagram: @cosmopolitansa

Despite the strides the company made, it did not survive the harsh blows of the corona virus. AMP’s closure can be seen as a reflection of the dire state of the publishing industry. This is not to say that all publishing houses are doomed. Rather, it depicts the severity of the Covid-19 virus on the business landscape.

In the official statement informing the public about AMP’s closure, Julia stated that [closing the business] was the most difficult decision she ever had to make.

Julia Raphaely. Source: Facebook
Julia Raphaely In Statement

Mail & Guardian SA (M&G)

At the start of Covid-19, Mail & Guardian SA was very vocal about their financial struggles. Khadija Patel, their now former Editor in Chief, tweeted that advertising has tanked because of the virus. 70% of Mail & Guardian’s revenue came from advertisers. Many of them pulled out due to financial strains, a big side-effect of the virus for many businesses. 20% of their income came from live events, which of course came to a halt the moment all the restrictions were set in place.

In their heartfelt article The Mail & Guardian Needs Your Help’ published on the 26th of March 2020, they were open about their financial struggles and voiced their concerns of potentially not being able to pay their April (2020) salaries.

Mail & Guardian did not close down, however they did face serious financial challenges.

Musica

South Africa’s leading music and entertainment store, Musica, is no more! Just like many South African’s, I too felt a pang of heartbreak when TimesLive reported on Musica’s extiction in January 2021. This comes after 29 years of being in business and being a great spot for stocking up on movies and CD’s. 

The way people consume music and movies has drastically changed. That coupled with the Corona Virus made it difficult for the company to keep its doors open. Clicks Group, who took ownership of Musica in 1992, stated that the pandemic accelerated the beloved business’s closure. Thanks a lot Covid-19!

STA Travel

The tourism industry has taken a big knock since the beginning of Covid-19 due to the imposed travel restrictions and lockdown regulations, world wide. In South Africa, foreign arrivals declined by 71% in 2020

STA Travel was birthed through student travelling. It’s target market consisted largely of young travellers who were taking gap years or were on volunteer missions. The agency, founded in 1971, announced its liquidation on the 25th of August 2020 citing the pandemic as its downfall.

The news of it’s liquidation came as a huge blow to an estimated 200 employees who were reported to be owed R21 million and to the 27 000 customers who were said to be owed an estimated R91 million.

STA Travel Is No More

Domino's Pizza

Domino’s Pizza South Africa announced its closure, with immediate effect, in March 2020 after it could not secure a buyer for the franchise. The once flourishing pizza place was owned by Taste Holdings, a mega franchiser that owned popular food brands The Fish & Chip Co, Maxi’s and Starbucks. Luxury brands NWJ, Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches fall under Taste Holding. These will not be affected as the company announced that it would be exiting the food business and would be extending their focus to their luxury brands.

A total of 55 stores ceased its operations, impacting about 770 employers. 

It is impossible to ignore the job losses attached to these businesses’ closures. Many employees lost out on their income, adding to the economic depression of the country and household struggles. The sad part is that Covid-19 is not yet over, meaning that more and more businesses could close their doors, resulting and more job losses. 

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