This is how crime messes up great IT businesses in South Africa
Esquire has been forced to close its store in Port Elizabeth because of crime, even though the branch was very successful with a loyal client base. Esquire is a popular distributor of computer hardware, software, accessories, digital lifestyle products, and security equipment. The company serves thousands of clients in South Africa, with branches in Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth, and its warehouse in Midrand.
Its Port Elizabeth branch is one of Esquire’s oldest stores, and has shown strong growth over the past year. It may not seem logical to close such a successful enterprise, but Esquire CEO Mahomed Cassim said crime forced their hand. “Our Port Elizabeth store has had three serious acts of criminality in the last nine months – one armed robbery and two break-ins,” said Cassim.
Esquire has spent over R100,000 on additional security measures and a better alarm system, but this has not stopped criminals from breaking in. “We now feel that we are being targeted in the area, and our first concern is the safety of our staff and clients,” said Cassim. Cassim said they were looking to keep the Port Elizabeth branch open, but it has become untenable.
Good news for Esquire clients in Port Elizabeth is that the company has launched temporary measures to service them from the Midrand and Cape Town branches.
“Our Port Elizabeth clients will therefore still enjoy our competitive pricing and vast range of products.”