SA Retail – Liquidity in Lockdown

The nation-wide lockdown in South Africa forced clothing and other non-food retailers to close their stores for three weeks to 16 April 2020. During this period, the retailers’ sales and cash inflow could dry up almost completely, while their cash expense outflow is likely to continue. We assess the non-food retailers’ ability to cope with this devastating disruption to their trade. We calculated their monthly cash flow and compared the likely cash outflow during the lockdown to the retailers’ available cash, disclosed facilities and debt capacity. This analysis indicates how long the retailers can continue to operate under these abnormal circumstances.