Publisher of leading trade magazines for the Footwear, Leather-goods, Leather & PPE industries

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 No.1, January 9, 2017

S&V Footwear and Leather Goods / S&V African Leather/ S&V Protect

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

Please note: Click on any ad to go to the advertiser’s website


We wish our readers a happy New Year

Festive Season sales: Reaction from Independents indicates that sales throughout southern Africa were down on the previous year.


Mahomed Iqbal Anwary, director, Anwary’s, Butha-Buthe, Lesotho

‘We all depend on South Africa’

December was down by 20% in turnover, and more in units. It was a very quiet month.
        There were 2 major causes – the political situation here, and the fact that many Basutho working in South Africa were sent back to sort out their paper work. I think they’re trying to sort out the border crossing.
        We’re currently busy with back-to-school, which is always a busy time for us. We’ll know in February how successful we’ve been, but we’re not expecting it to be good. We’re also expecting the year to be worse than last year. If the economy in South Africa is down, it will affect us – we all depend on South Africa.


Peter Meinzer, proprietor, Thiel’s Shoes, Windhoek, Namibia

Namibia’s economy heads south

The past 18 months had Namibia’s economic welfare heading downward in a rapid pace leaving retailers in a trading environment as never experienced before!
        Closures of various establishments in upmarket malls and city centre, leaving empty premises with “to let” signs are a bleak sign for what the future holds.
        Retail space is preferably left unoccupied by the ‘Lords of land’ who do not adapt to the economic situation.
        The year ahead will be tough!! Let the strongest survive!!!
To bring these remarks into perspective it is important to know Namibia’s total population is 2.5 million compared to greater Johannesburg with 7.8 million, and South Africa as a whole with 55 million. Comparison is equivalent regarding retail as between Cape Town and Wupperthal (S.A).


Amboo Patel, proprietor, American Tailors & Outfitters, Roodepoort, SA

‘You have to stay positive’

Our December turnover was up by about 5% – and that was only because the price of goods was up.
        There has also been a very poor start to January.
        The local factors affecting trade are high unemployment, and the degeneration of the CBD – which, if anything, has got worse since the DA took over.
        I think 2017 will be very tough, and that we will have to work twice as hard to achieve the same result. But you have to stay positive.


Kris Karpinski, member, Shoe Stop/Orange, Cape Town, SA

‘Black Friday’ had serious effect on December trading

The season again started very late – this time, I think, because of the impact of ‘Black Friday’, which seemed to suck a lot of money out of the system. By December 14 we were 18% down the same period the year before. Consumers then started spending again, and we ended up almost on par with the previous December – down in units, but more-or-less the same in turnover.
        January, too, has started very slowly.
        In ladies’ sandals, there was a major shift to flip flops and other thongs. I think it was partly fashion-driven – more casual clothing – and partly price. We found less demand for elegant sandals retailing for R500 or more.
        Men’s formal was down on last year, which was down on the year before, and on the year before that…
        Flip flops were very strong for them also.
        The weather was hot, which influenced sandal sales, but I think there were fewer visitors.
        For this year, I expect tough trading to continue. Last year we couldn’t sell leather boots retailing for R1900, but there was also resistance to synthetic boots at R800.
        It’s tough – consumers don’t have money, and they are more demanding, and there are 67 outlets in this centre selling footwear.


Gillian Adno Verity, member, Adno’s Outfitters, Brakpan, SA

Back-to-school sales likely to drop

The major part of our business is school uniforms and school shoes, and our busiest period of the year is the few days leading up to back-to-school. Right at the moment, we’re busy – whether we’re as busy as we were at this time last year, I can’t yet say, but I don’t think so.
        The majority of our customers are from the below average income group, and their uniform choices are mostly influenced by price. On the school shoe side, however, the Toughees brand is very strong – the shoe of choice is the flat-soled lace-up. Although there are other school shoes which look the same, they look for the Toughees brand.
        Our men’s side is small, and has been affected by the mall outside the CBD. We don’t offer any new accounts – which remain popular with the existing account holders. We’re probably also the only store in the CBD selling quality branded men’s footwear.


Paul Coetsee, member, Kaburi Clothing cc t/a Elegant Man, Matatiele, SA

Overtrading adds to problems

2016 was not an easy year. To sum it up, we had to work a lot harder for much less. I do not know if that generally is the case.
        December 2016 trade lagged behind the same period in 2015. We pushed as hard as we could, working on days when we had hoped to rest, but were always playing catch up.
        By the end of December our staff were all exhausted, and we were still behind on turnover for December 2015 albeit by only a few percent.
        We did expect 2016 to be tough and bought very cautiously. Our plan was to stock the basics, making sure we had ample stock thereof, and add the more fashionable items as “window dressing”.
        We sold the basics well, but could have bought more of the “window dressing”.
        I am of the opinion that business is overtraded and that is possibly why our turnover dropped.
        We also incurred huge price hikes in our products in 2016. Add to that, the price of food and groceries also rose dramatically, but salaries remained the same, meaning less disposable income.
        The first week of January 2017 was up on 2016, possibly because schools open earlier this year than last.
        I expect 2017 to be as tough 2016. Once again our plan is to be cautiously optimistic.


Bata changes

Durban (SA) – Bata SA has appointed John Harman as its new company manager. We hope to publish more details shortly.
        In a surprise move, former marketing manager Alex Gordon, who left last year to join Novita, has returned to the company in a similar position.


Sutherland Tannery: Awaiting written offers

Pietermaritzburg (SA) – The business rescue practitioners handling Sutherland Tannery (Pty) Ltd will have further meetings – later this week and next week – with 2 of a number of parties interested in taking over the business, Neil Button of Stowell & Co. said today.
        He said he hoped they would put in written offers by their deadline of January 21. No decision is expected before January 24.


SAFLIA, SARS to discuss imports

Durban (SA) – SARS is to meet with the Southern African Footwear & Leather Industries Association (SAFLIA) on January 23 to discuss issues around footwear imports (Risk Rules), according to executive director Jirka Vymetal.
        Jannie Kriel of IS Training, who trains Customs staff on SAFLIA’s behalf, will also attend the meeting. – [+27 (0)800 723542,]


Skye Distribution changes

Johannesburg (SA) – Skye Distribution MD Richard Dixon resigned late last year and left at the end of December. Former financial executive Clinton Patterson has been appointed MD.



Mark Gibbings, MD of Apeco, celebrates 35 years’ service on 18 January 2017.  From his Management and staff: “We raise a toast in congratulating you on this momentous achievement.  We know that people are the essence of any great company and that having great leadership is why we’re where we are today.”


SAFLEC off to Riva del Garda

Durban (SA) – SA Footwear & Leather Export Council executive director Nerisha Jairaj and finance & admin manager Louise Pelser fly out tomorrow to host SAFLEC’s first stand at the Exporivaschuh fair in Riva de Garda, Italy.
        It will differ from other recent SAFLEC missions in a number of ways:

  • 3 firms will take part – Saddler Belt, Chic Shoes and Rarity Handbags.
  • Saddler will send a member of staff, sales manager Mylene Fisher. The others will be represented by SAFLEC.
  • The stands are being entirely funded by SAFLEC, without input from the DTI.
“There’s a 3-year waiting list for a stand at Exporivaschuh,” Nerisha said. “In December, after a year of negotiation and with the help of the SA consulate in Milan, we secured a small stand. The idea is to introduce South African products, and for visitors to be able to view them. Price lists and brochures have been provided by the companies and sales will be motivated. The goal is to secure more space for June 2017 and give a larger spread of manufacturers an opportunity to exhibit.”
        She said SAFLEC’s entire membership – mostly made up of footwear manufacturers (95% footwear and 5% general goods) – had been invited to take part, but only the 3 companies had responded in the restricted time available.
        SAFLEC’s second exhibition this year will be the security, safety & health fair, Intersec, in Dubai, from January 22-24. She said the BBF Group was the only South African exhibitor, exhibiting several different brands.
“They’re ticking all the right boxes from an international marketing perspective, with excellent strategies,” she said. “Some of the previous exhibitors have agents exhibiting for them.”
        BBF will pay for the trip and can claim a portion back from the DTI via EMIA. – [+27 (0)31 266 1472,]



Reader Request

I am a women’s clothing designer based in Johannesburg. I am looking to develop leather shoes for my collection but I’m not sure where to begin or who to approach to get them into production.
          Could you please refer me to a manufacturer who would be able to assist me, as a small business owner, to develop a locally made women’s footwear range? – Lesley Whitter [Heart & Heritage Designer, +27 (0)83 548 5321,]


They Said It

"I’ve run out of rabbits to pull out of the hat." - Shoe Stop’s Kris Karpinski on trading conditions.


ABSA Agri Trends 13/12: Hides & skins prices

The average bovine hide price over the past week was R15.63/kg green. Hide prices are determined by the average of RMAA and independent companies.
        The average price for Dorper skins was R43.89/skin and Merino was R92.50/skin.

Hide & skin price progression
Date Hides/Kg Dorper/Skin Merino Skin
27/11 13.11 78.75 71.11
15/01 13.45 83.13 84.89
22/01 13.79 82.50 79.79
29/01 13.93 84.44 79.17
05/02 14.18 79.00 85.37
12/02 14.35 79.17 93.27
23/02 13.76 76.50 96.02
01/03 14.09 68.93 94.00
08/03 14.20 67.50 93.29
29/03 13.85 63.85 88.37
05/04 14.15 64.55 87.92
12/04 14.21 64.55 99.17
10/05 14.66 60.00 91.08
17/05 14.50 60.77 92.41
31/05 14.60 54.09 89.48
07/06 15.01 60.42 99.13
14/06 15.08 58.00 87.27
21/06 15.11 56.50 92.27
28/06 15.25 55.42 94.23
19/07 15.30 50.42 92.98
26/07 15.42 46.82 89.06
16/08 15.30 39.92 79.52
23/08 15.29 38.77 78.13
31/08 15.32 43.78 65.51
06/09 15.31 35.82 76.98
13/09 15.33 34.80 80.91
27/09 15.23 32.00 74.62
04/10 15.07 30.33 76.17
11/10 15.22 30.50 72.78
18/10 15.16 29.00 77.08
25/10 15.17 30.36 77.50
01/11 15.17 34.58 80.38
15/11 15.24 35.00 78.75
22/11 15.19 35.45 80.00
29/11 15.62 35.91 81.21
13/12 15.63 43.89 92.50


Birthdays this week

09/01/1962: Ming-Ter Tso, Mingfay International Trade, Johannesburg.
10/01/1955: HR Hassim, Suliman Jooma & Son, Pretoria.
10/01/1947: Pieter de Villiers, Shoes & Do’s, Pretoria.
10/01/1960: Viroo Harry, Mr Man, Grahamstown.
10/01/1982: Arnold Britten, Zambezi Tanners, Bulawayo.
11/01/1963: David Opie, Hippo Bag & Screen, Cape Town.
11/01/1958: Michael Prinsloo, Shoelettes, Cape Town.
12/01/1954: Dave Nagle, agent, Port Elizabeth.
12/01/1936: Reg Hattingh, agent, Johannesburg.
12/01/1946: Walter Kassier, Eston Leather, Eston.
12/01/1957: Melanie Thompson, Little Slipper Co., Port Elizabeth.
13/01/1958: Dr Karl-Rudolf Gassen, Lanxess SA, Johannesburg.
13/01/1966: Farhad Fakir, Tasmo Agencies, Johannesburg.
14/01/19??: Sylvia De Gouveia, Fashion Centre, Kroonstad.
14/01/1947: Billy Robinson, retired, formerly Billy Bob Trading [closed], Durban.
14/01/1960: Yusuf Tikly, Legends, Zeerust.


In Memoriam up to January 8

14/01/2004: Louis Nossel (b. 01/12/1931), Dolltown Shoes [closed], Cape Town.
16/01/2000: Brenda Fairhead, Fairhead’s [closed], Cape Town.
16/01/2004: Derek Funnell (b. 07/10/1938), Carl Freudenberg/DB Funnell Leathers, Cape Town.

Do you have any names you’d like to add to our list of birthdays and In Memoriam? Please send the details.


Trade Fair dates

For a list of local and international trade fairs covering footwear, leather goods, leather and PPE, visit our website:


Classified Adverts

Factory managers sought

Golden Dragon Manufacturer is a fully moulded footwear factory in Tongaat looking to fill two positions for Factory Managers. Applicants can send their CVs to: The positions will be available from 15th of January 2017.


Experienced footwear agent seeking agencies for Gauteng

Has many years experience in men’s, ladies’, children’s footwear.
Has connections with chain stores and mini chains and independent shoe stores.

  Contact Basil Tannenbaum
Tell  011 6484801
Cell 082 4970854



Contact us

News & Classifieds: Tony Dickson, +27 (0)31 209 7505,

Next newsletter: January 16, 2017.

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