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

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 No.2, January 16, 2017

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

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Festive Season sales: Following on from comments from several independents last week, several chains reported more acceptable or even better-than-expected sales, though two are still cautious about trading conditions in 2017.


Ralph Dodo, MD, Dodo’s Exclusive Shoes

Mixed bag, but overall quite good

Johannesburg (SA) – We found trading conditions up until the last week before Christmas challenging in our South African stores.
        The last week was very strong but disappointing in terms of our budget in that we did not achieve our double digit budget.
        Our stores in Botswana and Namibia were however extremely good and oversold their budgets substantially. This made our overall performance acceptable for the month. We were up on last year.
        Surprisingly January has been a lot better so far. I’d even go so far as to say it has been strong!
        In terms of the year ahead, the same difficult factors in the economy still prevail and I do not expect them to get any better for most of the year. We are budgeting more conservatively for the year ahead and will be happy with growth of 7-8% on comparable stores. Also I hope actions by our government don’t torpedo this economy by ill-advised policies as they have done in the past which among other things reduce the value of the Rand. Our consumer really can’t take more knocks.


Steve Miller, director, Franco Ceccato Group

Trading patterns have changed, so adapt

Cape Town (SA) – Christmas trading for both Franco Ceccato and Queue was in line with expectations, albeit at levels similar to last year. Gross profit however was higher, this due to our seasonal sale only starting in mid January this year versus early December in 2015.
        Improved product mix resulted in a higher sell-through for the season and stock levels therefore that much lower. Sales post Christmas and into January have, however, been encouraging with good growth on previous the year, this again at an improved margin.
        Our view is that the monthly trading patterns have progressively changed over the past few years. December is still big, but no longer the huge month that we used to look forward to, but then neither are January and February as quiet as they used to be.  This is the new reality that we have to accept and with it the need to extract as much as possible from all other months and to rely less on December trading.
          All the known and negative trading conditions experienced throughout 2016 just continued through into December, resulting in a poor Christmas retail season. We believe that 2017 will follow a similar pattern and that the external trading conditions will be as challenging.


Anthony ThunstrÓ§m, CFO, the Foschini Group

Christmas trading ‘above expectation’

Cape Town (SA) – Christmas trading was above expectation with TFG Group sales growth for December (27 November 2016 to 24 December 2016) of 14,6%. Growth for TFG International was 47,9% in GBP and growth for TFG Africa was 11,5% with same store growth of 5,6%.
        Growths in the various merchandise categories for TFG Africa were as follows: clothing 12,8% (same store growth 6,0%); homewares 10,4% (same store growth 3,2%); cosmetics 5,4% (same store growth 2,3%); jewellery 2,1% (same store growth 0,1%) and cellphones 15,8% (same store growth 12,0%). Cash sales growth for TFG Africa for December was 17,7% and credit sales grew by 5,2%.
        TFG Group sales for the 9 months to 24 December 2016 increased by 14,5%. TFG International continues to perform in line with management’s expectation, with turnover growth of 47,8% in GBP. Growth for TFG Africa was 9,7% with same store sales growth of 3,7%. Growths in the various merchandise categories for TFG Africa for the 9 months to 24 December 2016 were as follows: clothing 10,3% (same store growth 3,7%); homewares 7,6% (same store growth -2,1%); cosmetics 2,9% (same store growth 0,0%); jewellery 3,3% (same store growth 1,0%) and cellphones 16,8% (same store growth 12,5%). Cash sales growth for TFG Africa for the 9 months to 24 December 2016 was 17,4% and credit sales grew by 2,7%.
        Merchandise inflation for the 9 month period in TFG Africa averaged 8,5%.
        This sales update has not been reviewed or reported on by the company`s external auditors.



Competition Commission gives go-ahead for Decofurn et al deal

This statement was released by the Competition Commission, dated January 15. We hope to carry further detail in the next issue of S&V Footwear & Leather Goods.

1.9 Proposed merger between National Retail Holdings (Pty) Ltd v Decofurn (Pty) Ltd, CB Stores (Pty) Ltd, The Hub (Pty) Ltd and HTC Stores (Pty) Ltd and the Truzen Trust
          The Commission has approved, without conditions, the intermediate merger whereby National Retail intends to acquire Decofurn, CB Stores, the Hub, HTC Stores as well as shares in the Truzen Trust.
        National Retail is a newly incorporated firm that does not have any operations. The Laaks Trust is an investment holding entity that holds interests in National Retail and in listed companies.
The target firms, with the exception of the Truzen Trust, are involved in the textile industry specifically in the procurement (mostly from imports) and sale of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing (including school uniforms) and footwear as well as household apparel. The Truzen Trust owns the property used as a distribution center and head office by the other Target Firms.
        The proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition in any market and does not raise any public interest concerns.



60 000 watch Dangee-sponsored touch rugby tournament

Crowds attending the Dangee-sponsored touch rugby event in December.

Johannesburg (SA) – Dangee Carken sponsored a series of beach touch rugby competitions in the Western Cape in December. There were 7 events, from Camps Bay through to Hartenbos, and there were 346 teams. Dangee Carken MD Robby Stoller said an estimated 50 000-60 000 spectators were exposed to the marketing messages.



Cape Town (SA) – Jensen Belts MD Michael O’Connor died on December 30, from cancer, aged 65. An obituary will follow in the next issue of S&V Footwear & Leather Goods Magazine.

Pretoria (SA) – On behalf of my company, congratulations to Mark Gibbings for his “life time” contribution to the industry and if I may mention, I started with BU Shoe Machinery in Port Elizabeth mid-March 1967 so very soon I’ll be celebrating 50 wonderful years in the Industry. – Hannes Harding, FC & T Supplies.


Expo Riva Schuh: Trends

Boots are among the big stories at Expo Riva Schuh.

Riva del Garda (Italy) – The new cuissard [women’s thigh boot] stands out from the many proposals presented at the fair: true corsets, unique and appealing for all styles: thigh high, skin tight, perforated, suedette, ripped or fringed denim, embroidered, patent-leather, glitter and even classic, black leather or nubuck, but also in natural tones.
        Another best seller is the lace-up ankle boot with molded heel, ankle or knee high. And then the Mary Jane, now studded with inserts, suede, decor and embroidery.
        New loafers are brought forth: square toe and mid heeled, often moulded. There is a great choice of heights and materials: from the high wooden or clear plexi heeled or gold sculpture-models, to sturdy flats for more street-style and sporty models.
        Black is the overarching colour, with burgundy, blue-green, dove beige as well as green, dark petrol, emerald or camouflage, in addition to carmine red and electric blue. – []


They Said It

"If you find him, send him my way." - Sew Solutions’ Rajesh Raghunandan, speaking of his hard-to-track-down business partner, Rabin Nagesar.


Birthdays this week

17/01/1961: Gita Chetty, Angelai’s, Durban.
17/01/1949: Carol Mentor, retired, formerly NULAW.
18/01/19??: Mary Dean, retired, formerly Amber Footwear [closed], Pietermaritzburg.
18/01/1944: Jenny Fenwick, Saddler Belts & Leathercraft, Durban.
18/01/1958: Carol Schroeder (neé Williams), retired, Durban.
18/01/1970: Lionel Gericke, Genuine Connection Promotions, Paarl.
20/01/1933: Peter Smith, retired, formerly Wallheimer Leathers (closed), Durban.
21/01/1951: AS Patel, Farini Shoes, Durban.
22/01/1978: Farzana Paleker, Chilli Footwear, Cape Town.
22/01/1972: Gavin Sack, Footwear Discounters, Johannesburg.
22/01/1952: Derek Griffiths, Apeco, Pinetown.


In Memoriam this week

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.
17/01/2012: Graham Pearson (b. 16/01/1929), Apeco, Pinetown.
18/01/2002: Frank Mellon (b. 04/02/1930), Valmell Components, Durban.
19/01/19??: Thomas Anthony (Tony) O’Sullivan (b.08/06/1928), Vogue Shoes and others [closed], Cape Town.
20/01/2010: Johan Bester (b. 08/11/1936), ProGlove, King William’s Town.
22/01/1997: Charles Lintner, Bata SA, Pinetown.

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:


Contact us

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

Next newsletter: January 23, 2017.

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