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Footwear Industry News

UIF: Few payments to Leather Bargaining Council employers so far

Published: 27th Apr 2020
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Several manufacturers have said they have yet to receive money from the UIF for their employees.
Moda Shoes is a family footwear retailer with 3 stores in Pretoria.
       "It seems that UIF payments have started to filter through to some factories," SAFLIA director Jirka Vymetal said, "but they also battle to get through to the UIF COVID helpline. So that doesn’t help.
       "This week I sent a list to the commissioner, Mr. Teboho Maruping, via Ms. Eunice Mazibuko, of our members who applied and who provided me with the info I requested. I too have not had a response. The reason for my (SAFLIA’s) intervention with the Commissioner was to see if somehow things could be fast tracked for our members."
       On April 17, in response to a query from S&V, Marthie Raphael, chairperson of the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry, said it had received payments: "The agreement between the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry and the UIF was a historical agreement and we knew at the time of concluding the agreement that it is not perfect and that there may be some administrational burdens to overcome.
       "We have been working extensively with the UIF and can confirm that payments have been made and will continue to be made during the coming period.
       "The COVID-19 agreement between Employers and Trade Union as has been published in the Government Gazette, has mostly been implemented, while some items are in the process of being operationalised."

SAFLEC arranges Zoom Cloud Trend Seminars via Arsutoria.

Published: 27th Apr 2020
Author: SAFLEC press release

The first Industry,  Zoom cloud  global  training session for the Footwear and Leather Industry took place this week. The seminars are 1 to 1.30 mins long, every day for one week . The sessions negotiated with Arustoria by Director of SAFLEC, Nerisha Jairaj is intended to ensure continuity of training sessions that equip South African Manufacturers with the latest and forecasted global seasons . 2021 trends forecast in times of COVID. “ We should not just stop.  We need to empower our member base”, she said.  A test session was held 2 days before the actual sessions to iron out any problems in connectivity and learning.  The 20th of April launched off with much success.
SAFLEC has brought many firsts to Industry and this is a start of bringing many more world leaders in industry into such knowledge sharing sessions for benefit of our members. Yes, we going through a world Pandemic, but we need to plan for post lockdown with a positive and equipped mind-set.  We hope these seminars will give our manufacturers global perspective.  It is amazing that even through these testing times, we are able to learn across continents via virtual classrooms like this, and rise.
The seminars via zoom cloud has 20 participants. SAFLEC has initiated these seminars as well as AGOA and export seminars to keep the Industry moving and planning forward.

Timing 1 hour Software: Zoom
  Monday 17:00-18:30. Tuesday to Friday 11:00-12:30
This subject will be managed by Orietta Pelizzari

Timing 1 hour Software: Zoom
  Monday to Friday 11:00 - 12:30
This subject will be managed by Maria Cristina Rossi and Georgia Turri

Contents week 20 - 24 April

April 20th
Which elements are changing the seasonal dynamics in footwear and leather goods. New rules will change the brand collections.
  Q&A Live Conversation Session

April 21st
Analyse Ars Trends Now. AY 20-21. How to adapt trends to next season for materials and colours.
Q&A Live Conversation Session

April 22nd
What the industry is talking about Sustainability, Authenticity, Traceability, Recycling.
Q&A Live Conversation Session

April 23rd
Which Styles will be more suitable for the new consumer sentiment. Global lockdown creates a different appetite on footwear and leather goods.
Q&A Live Conversation Session

April 24th
Howe to truck a trend which can be suitable for your business.
  Collect information’s, analyse data’s, predict the best application, build a relationship with your consumer, plan online/offline retail actions.
Q&A Live Conversation Session

Post-lockdown regulations for factories

Published: 20th Apr 2020
Author: Richard Starmer; FLIC

Once Government and the Health department announce the lifting or partial lifting of the lockdown and declare it safe to re-open the factories, our industry will then be allowed back to work. However, it is envisaged that to do this there will be a need to put certain new procedures and regulations in place, to ensure the safety of everybody returning to work.
       FLIC has put together the attached document, which will serve to guide you on the new recommended guidelines which will need to be implemented prior to re-opening and post re-opening. Please peruse the attached document and start to plan your re-opening strategy accordingly. There is quite a lot to consider. We suggest advance planning for the implementation of these guidelines whilst still on lockdown, so as not to lose time when the green light is given.
See regulations

Chains: Hoping for government response this week

Published: 20th Apr 2020
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Talks around local sourcing also to continue
Cape Town, W Cape, SA – Chain retailers are expecting "some relief" from government in terms of a resumption of trade, and the National Clothing Retail Federation of SA is suggesting models which would allow that without compromising the health measures of the lockdown, executive director Michael Lawrence said on Friday, but he said the federation didn't expect the government to announce any changes before the end of this week "at the earliest".
       "Trading models for post lockdown are being considered by retail and landlords.
       "Changes to the current situation will probably be in stages, and may include a blend of online and conventional shopping. Whatever solutions are arrived at will be quite a disciplined operation, for staff and consumers. Some retailers have operations in other parts of the world, and have practical advice on how other countries are easing restrictions on apparel retailing."
       He said measures could include thermal scanners to measure the temperature of shoppers as they enter shopping centres, only allowing shoppers wearing masks, limiting customers from trying on certain clothing, and limiting numbers  in malls and stores. He said the information the federation had was that the virus did not survive as long on fabric as it did, for example, on the metal, glass or plastic containers in supermarkets, but the Department of Health would need to offer guidelines nationally.
       "Retailing does need to happen soon, to get product off the shelves which has been there too long.
       "In terms of available stock, there's probably enough, locally and imported, to last a couple of months.
       "In terms of local manufacturing, there need to be conversations to create support mechanisms for bigger manufacturers, and again there probably need to be exemptions from the Competition Act to allow several chains being supplied by a particular manufacturer to all assist in keeping it going, economically and sustainably." -

Rentals: Be persistent, retailers urged

Published: 20th Apr 2020
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Wholesaler/retailer London Shoes has 4 stores in the Western Cape, each with a different landlord, and each has reacted differently, director Maon Saxe said.
       "Landlord 1 is Redefine," he said, "and they've been excellent. Before the lockdown was extended, they offered a 70% discount on the rental for April, excluding operational costs like lights and water. Now that it's been extended to the end of the month, I'm hoping they will let me off the rent entirely, but not the other costs.
       "Landlord 2 offered a 50% discount. Landlord 3 hasn't responded at all.
       "But Landlord 4, which is a JSE-listed entity with an R11 billion property portfolio, initially offered no discount at all. They did offer to let me pay off the April rent over 6 months, but that doesn't help because I have had no turnover at all. Finally, after lots and lots of emails from me, and after I went on a radio talk show - which was probably what did it - they've offered me a 75% rent reduction for April.
       "The point I want to make to other retailers is: 'Be persistent. Don't give up. Paying staff is the first priority'."

Family outfitting mini-chain Brandz has 6 stores on the KZN South Coast, all with different landlords.
       "I've asked all of them for a waiver of rents for April," member Naseem Essack said. "1 of them has offered less 50%, but I've responded with an alternative proposal. I'm still waiting to hear from the other 5.
       "Some of the rentals include utilities, but where they don't, I have paid the utility bills, which are for March, and I will pay the April bills when they are due."

Lifestyle mini-chain Crossover has 12 stores in malls including Sandton City, Easgate, Menlyn, Canal Walk and Gateway.
       "We've put out a letter to all of them saying we will discuss rents when we get back," said member Hashim Ismail. "Initially, when the lockdown was for 3 weeks, there were some offers from them, but with the extension, we're not prepared to discuss anything until trade actually starts again."

Moda Shoes is a family footwear retailer with 3 stores in Pretoria.
       "I haven’t had any communication from landlords yet specific to my rentals," member Matthew Boltman said.."Only general mails with not much information."

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