It came into Malawi amid pomp and fanfare four or so years ago, but that will soon be history for Mr Price, a publicly-traded retail company from South Africa, as it wants to wind up its operations in Malawi.
The company, which has traded on Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) since 1952, has petitioned the Commercial Division of the High Court of Blantyre to wind up its operations.
The petition number one of 2014 will be heard on March 11 2014 where, among others, any creditor or contributory of the Mr Price (Malawi) wishing to support or oppose the closure will appear before the court.
No reasons have been given for the winding up of the operations, and the company’s officials could not be reached on the phone to explain the reasons for closing shop in Malawi.
Already, Mr Price (Malawi) closed down its shop in Lilongwe where it started operating before opening another one in the commercial capital, Blantyre.
The closure of the shop will obviously leave a number of Malawians jobless and reduce its trading to five African countries that include Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and South Africa.
The winding up of Mr Price comes hot on the heels of the closure of another chain of stores Spar, in Lilongwe.
Some Malawians have complained that goods at Mr Price are priced way beyond an average Malawian, a development that could have affected their sales volume.
In South Africa, Mr Price has changed names several times since 1885, including John Orrs and Hub, the shop opened in 1987 after the current owners bought a controlling interest in John Orrs.
Their stores are located in Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa and retail sales surpassed R5 billion rand in 2007, according to available information.