South African & East African Footwear and Leather Goods, Leather and PPE industry news.
Rentals: Be persistent, retailers urged
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."
Covid-19: More DTIC notifications
Pretoria, Gauteng, SA (April 08, 2020) – Dr Jaywant Irkhede, Director: Leather & Footwear at the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition (DTIC), last week forwarded more announcements:
Due to the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the National Treasury in support of the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (DTIC) calls on all compliant, particularly local, suppliers providing commodities listed below to direct their offers to the PMO set up for this purpose. The submissions will be assessed by the support team responsible for coordinating the process, exclusively for the identified commodities.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) descriptions: (Items 11, 12 and 13 were erroneously omitted in the previous communication.)
1. Disposable aprons
2. Protective surgical gowns
3. Protective eyewear
4. Surgical gloves
6. Protective hoods
7. Biohazard bags
9. Alcohol-Cleaning, disinfectants – clinical
10. Venturi masks
11. Protective Respirators / N95 masks/ FFP2 masks
12. Surgical mask with visor / separate face shield
13. Surgical mask - 3ply
Detailed information should be provided for the above items and submitted directly to the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The submission should include the following information:
- Supplier name,
- Company registration,
- Central Supplier Database number (CSD),
- Indication of products that can be supplied.
National Treasury continues to advise suppliers to be vigilant during this time and not submit their information to would-be scammers. Suppliers are advised to always first verify with relevant departments before supplying any goods.
The submission through this process does not in any manner or form waive the requirements for compliance outlined in the Central Supplier Database (CSD). Enquiries: Communications Unit Email: email@example.com Tel: (012) 315 5046
FLIC, SAFLEC join forces over lockdown
For the immediate future the two organizations have pledged to work together on specific subjects / topics or projects. Any documents or correspondence that are jointly produced as a result of this new working arrangement, will bear both organizations logo’s. SAFLEC and FLIC may also be seen from time to time publishing each other’s documents where it has been mutually agreed upon. This arrangement is anticipated to achieve a far wider distribution reach. The organization responsible for the production of these documents will display their logo on the document accordingly.
The SAFLEC and FLIC teams are working from home during this lockdown period. We will be holding video meetings bi-weekly to explore jointly any interventions that we can implement to benefit the industry at large during these uncertain times.
Retail last week: Comment from 5 retailers on Saturday 07/09/2019
"This last week has been good, except today, which has been absolutely dead, although Saturdays are normally busy. It's been good since the beginning of the month, but the year as a whole has been about 20% down. We're promoting ourselves through social media, and we've created a website. We wanted to try online retail, but the time isn't right. At the moment you have to give more discounts. Usually 10% was enough, but now it's often 15%, even 20% to get the sale." - Shiraz Osman, Gaby's Funky Fashion, Pretoria, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 2 stores, men's and women's clothing, men's, women's and children's footwear.
"The first few after month end are quite good. Traditionally, from the 25th to the end of the month are also good trading days, but not now. As we move towards Christmas, there are a few green shoots, and I just hope the fourth quarter will be better. As far as stock is concerned, I buy products that are in constant demand, and make sure I have enough stock so that when the customer comes in, we have what he wants in terms of brand, style and colour. It's not necessarily cheap footwear, because we cater to the middle class and up, and we have a reputation for selling quality products. We read there has been some growth, but it has to filter down to our level." - Sunil Bhagwandas, Ginger Bhagwandas, Durban, KZN, SA. Mini-chain, 6 stores, men's outfitter.
"We were closed for one-and-a-half days this week because there were rumours of attacks. There's a criminal element that hides behind the attacks on foreigners, and they target the stores with expensive merchandise, irrespective of who owns them. The whole of Gauteng is tense. The year as a whole has been down, but generally we have maintained, despite the unemployment and other problems. We all have to try harder, just with simple things like cleaning outside your store to make it more attractive to shoppers. You can tell whether a store is owned by locals or foreigners just by whether it's clean or dirty outside. I'm an optimist - you can't carry on if you're not - but the only time things will improve is if the government is bold and does things. The president hasn't come to the party yet." - Seroze Akoodie, member, Gino Armani, Springs, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 1 store, men's outfitter.
"This week has been terrible. The retail environment is very erratic, and it's affected by everything - government, the economy, crime. You can have a good day, a bad day, an okay day - it's impossible to predict. I know money is tight, but I think people are holding back because of negative sentiment, rather than because they don't have money to spend. For the year so far, turnover is down and overheads are up. I've tried everything I can think of - in-store advertising, sales. When I think we're running a bit lean on stock, I've put in more. But I honestly don't know whether it's made a difference. Now we're just going carefully and hopefully things will improve." - Billy Goott, director, Glamour Shoes, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 2 stores, women's shoes and bags.
"This week has picked up quite nicely. I hope it goes on that way. The year so far hasn't been great, and sort of on a par with last year, up here and there. My strategy is to stick with the basics, which make up 80% of my stock." - Maurice Edelstein, proprietor, H. Schneider Retailers, Cape Town, W Cape, SA. Independent, 1 store, men's outfitter.
Steinhoff - results of the general meeting
Stock Exchange News Service (SENS) release.
Shareholders are hereby advised that at the general meeting of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. ("Steinhoff" or "the Company") held at 13:00pm CET on 30 August 2019, at Steigenberger Airport Hotel, Stationsplein Zuid-West 951, 1117 CE Schiphol, Municipality of Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands (the "AGM"), all of the resolutions proposed in the notice of meeting made available to shareholders on the Company's website on 19 July 2019 were passed by the requisite majority of votes cast by the Steinhoff shareholders present or represented at the AGM.
Number of shares present or represented: 1 043 431 791 (this includes votes abstained, as per the below) % of issued share capital: 25.16%
The supervisory board announced that - upon recommendation by the audit committee - it has nominated Mazars as the Company's external auditor for the 2019 financial year. As part of its selection process, the audit committee interviewed representatives of several Dutch audit firms that are allowed to perform statutory audits of the annual accounts of Dutch companies whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market. Upon their appointment, Mazars Netherlands will be the external auditor of the Steinhoff Group. The Dutch Mazars audit team will work closely with their colleagues in the UK, South Africa and France and in other jurisdictions where possible.
Mazars nomination will be proposed for appointment by the general meeting at an extraordinary general meeting.