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Footwear Industry News

Retail: Difficult choices for expensive footwear

Published: 9th Oct 2023
Author: Ivan Orkin; Orkin’s Shoe Centre

Germiston, Gauteng, SA - We’re finding trade very tricky and not good at all. Prices have become so exorbitant, and you must downgrade all the time. But people aspire to better end merchandise and brands, so you lose that segment if you’re not careful. You can’t offer copies – they know what they want. To be a player, you must be up-to-date.

To sell expensive footwear you have to offer credit. Lay bye doesn’t seem to be good enough for the premium brands. However, we do stock Palladium, and we do quite well with that, I must say.

But in general, consumers have less money, and they have more people they have to support. If they can’t afford what they really want, the business just doesn’t happen.

We have tried to modernise our business and our marketing, but if business is dead, you can’t beat it into life.

Thus far this year, we’re quite a bit down on last year, so December isn’t looking very promising. 

Retail: It’s slow, but we’re recovering

Published: 9th Oct 2023
Author: Barry Law; Men’s Shoe Centre

Durban, KZN, SA - It’s challenging. We need better political leadership and there’s no sign of that.

We’ve been in business rescue since November 2020. We were hurt before covid – by emigration, among other things. We’ve made slow progress since then, and we recently paid the first dividend to creditors.

We’ve reduced the business from 5 stores and a head office to 1 store, in the Pavilion, plus online, and we have 5 in-store staff, because we have to work the hours the Pavilion demands. 2 of those staff have been with us for 48 years. My son, Cameron, who was in the business, has also emigrated, but he still helps with some things.

We still carry a very broad range of men’s footwear, from casual and formal to comfort, sport and safety, and we specialise in small and large sizes, in most cases from 5-15, with a few size 16s as well.

On the clothing side, we still specialise in large men’s sizes, from 2x to 10x.

That has made us a destination store, including for up-country tourists, and we were hit in July when the beaches were closed.

When you’re in business rescue, you have to pay cash up front, but we still lost some brands. However, we’ve replaced them with others, and, if anything, we’ve done better with them.

December is always much better than any other month, and I expect tourism to be much better. Often, when the months leading up to Christmas have been worse than usual, Christmas itself is very good. I hope so.

For the last while, we’ve been affected by building alterations at the Pavilion, but that will be cleared up in a week. We just have to carry on! 

Kangol: SA footwear distribution rights unknown as Jumbo agreement ends

Published: 2nd Oct 2023
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Pietermaritzburg, KZN, SA - Jumbo Footwear group subsidiary Foothills Trading & Investment 2 (Pty) Ltd’s distribution agreement with Kangol ends on 31 December, Dionne Prinsloo of Allied Agencies confirmed on Friday.

”We are currently in the process of winding down our involvement,” he wrote. “We have no idea who may continue with Kangol branded footwear in 2024.”

Sole Agents Distribution (Pty) Ltd distributes Kangol headwear in SA.

According to a report in Women’s Wear Daily on 02 February this year, Bollman Hat Company, the oldest hat maker in the United States, acquired a 51% stake and full intellectual property rights to Kangol from the UK-based Frasers Group.

“Bollman has held the license to develop and produce Kangol headwear since 2001. The deal will now allow Bollman to oversee Kangol’s complete portfolio, which includes apparel and accessories such as bags and wallets,” the report said.

Bollman did not respond to an enquiry from S&V regarding distribution rights in SA for Kangol. 

Cape Union Mart sponsors film festival

Published: 2nd Oct 2023
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Cape Town, W. Cape, SA - Cape Union Mart will be hosting the BANFF Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour in SA for the 20th time. There will be a press launch at Egrek Cinema in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, on Thursday, 05 October.

We’re excited to extend an exclusive invitation to you. This year marks the 20th occasion that leading outdoor gear retailer, Cape Union Mart, has had the privilege of bringing one of the world’s premier mountain festivals, BANFF, to the sunny shores of South Africa. As a respected voice in the media, we’d be honoured to have you join us for this landmark celebration. 

One month up, one month down

Published: 18th Sep 2023
Author: By Alan Shadbolt; member; Castaway Components cc

Cape Town, W. Cape, SA - Business has been down about 20% this year. Sales have been erratic all year with one fair month followed by a bad month. High raw material costs, load shedding and high diesel costs (for generator) are making it impossible to make a profit. We are finding sales down across all our product ranges, I think it is just a lack of disposable income among consumers. Things are picking up towards year end, but no fireworks. We just hope that things will be better next year when interest rate start coming down and the economy starts to improve. 

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