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

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 No.33, August 21, 2017

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

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Sutherland deal falls through - company to be liquidated

Pietermaritzburg (SA) – The business rescue plan (BRP) for Sutherland Tannery (Pty) Ltd, involving the sale of the business to an Italian company, has fallen through, and business rescue practitioner Neil Button of Stowell & Co said he would apply for liquidation of the company this week.
       The BRP had involved Italian tannery Giardini Pellami putting around R22 million into the business to pay 30 cents in the Rand to creditors, full benefits to workers and taking over the facility with ABSA. Majority shareholder Wynand Hart would have received a minority share in a resuscitated business. Minority shareholder Craig Munro would not.
       Gabriele Giardini, owner of the Civitanova Marche-based furniture upholstery and footwear upper leather tannery, said talks were "definitely over".
       He said Giardini Pellami had intended to produce wet blue and crust in Pietermaritzburg for export to Italy, with the longer term intention of also producing finished upholstery leather there.
       He said the original price tag "was too high for a tannery whose assets were worth perhaps R5 million". No source of hides had been included in the BRP. To compensate, he said Hart, the owner of the property through a different company, "agreed to include the property itself in the deal".
       He said in the last few weeks, "it emerged there were issues I was not told in the beginning". Those included:
- That there was a claim for around R10 million owed to SARS "which might have become my responsibility if I bought the company".
- That Sutherland lost SABS certification 2 years ago. The SABS certification was required to sell wet blues to international tanneries such as Seton "which could have been an issue in future".        On top of that, he said there was now uncertainty over the issue of the property.
       Hart, who still owns veg leather tannery Leather from Hart, situated in the same Plessislaer premises, declined to comment. Munro did not respond to calls.


Bella Leather opens warehouse
Meanwhile Bella Leather, a subsidiary of Giardini Pellami, which has been operating as a leather importer for a number of years, today (Monday) opened its own warehouse in Waterfall. 2 former Sutherland staff members, Alicia Pridmore (+27 (0)83 615 0932,, formerly of Sutherland Tannery, is handling admin. Mark Wynn (+27 (0)82 722 9252, is one of its sales agents. Bella sells footwear and furniture upholstery leather.



Office shines in Truworths results

Cape Town (SA) – The Truworths Group opened 10 Office London footwear stores in SA as a pilot programme this month, according to the annual report published last Thursday. Office is the UK-based footwear retailer which the group bought in 2015. There are 5 stores in Gauteng, 3 in the Western Cape, and 2 in KZN. An online offering will go live next month, with a wider range. Further store roll-outs are planned in 2018.
       The group also plans to expand its children's wear stores in SA.

Truworths Group retail sales increased by 8.6% (6.1% on a 52-week year), mainly on the strength of Office.
       Truworths' SA and African operations were up 1% to R13.4 billion, while Office's UK and rest of Europe sales were up 5% to R5.1 billion.
       Truworths, which includes Truworths, Identity, Uzzi, Earthchild and Earthaddict, Truworths Man, Naartjie, YDE, Daniel Hechter, LTD and Ginger Mary, now has 781 stores, 94% in SA, the rest elsewhere in Africa. Office has 156 stores, 90% in the UK, the rest in Ireland and Germany.
       In terms of product mix, footwear 11% of Truworths' business, while Office is entirely footwear. Overall, footwear makes up 35% of group sales.

The report listed the performance of acquisitions based on the payback period:

Aquired   Price Payback Period (Years)
2003 YDE R61m 5
2006 Uzzi R106m 3
2015 Earthchild/Earthaddict R319m 3#
2015 Naartjie 33m 1
2015 Office* R3357m 5/6#
2017 Loads of Living R9m 1#

# Estimated on past performance
* Office cash generated from operating activities since acquisition £50m. - []



Bata brands relaunch: Road show dates

Pinetown (SA) – Bata SA will hold a series of launches for Bubblegummers, North Star, Power and Weinbrenner around the country next week. These brands have been absent from SA for long periods.
       The launches will be in Durban on Monday (August 28), Johannesburg on Tuesday (August 29), George on Wednesday (August 30), and Cape Town on Thursday and Friday (August 31 and September 1). Venues have not been confirmed.
       Around 50 retailers, representing independent, mini-chain and chain key accounts, have been invited.
       Global brand managers will be at each of the launches. They are: Alexandra McDonald (Power), Janet Hidalgo (North Star), Daniel Nazar (Bubblegummers), and Roberto Jimenez (Weinbrenner).



Johannesburg (SA) - Joel Finn joined The Character Group from Footwear Trading in June.

Durban (SA) - Eco Rubber has appointed Butch Subramani as operations manager. He was previously in charge of QC.


They Said It

"I have more shoes in my cupboard than my girlfriend does." - Cape Union Mart footwear director Kennith Barlow.



October 14: Cobblers' Luncheon, Goodwood Sports Club, Cape Town. Voden Wearne, +27 (0)21 551 4032,
November 21-23: ATF Trade Exhibition, Cape Town International Convention Centre. Deidre Harte, +27 (0)21 790 5849,


Birthdays this week

21/08/1949: Brian Pollock, retired, formerly Jordan Shoes, Cape Town.
21/08/1952: Wayne Little, Matas Import, Cape Town.
21/08/1974: Lisa Rheeder, Acol Chemical, Harare.
22/08/1936: Norma Varley, retired, Edgars, Durban.
22/08/1954: Jax Snyman, The Sweat Shop, Johannesburg.
22/08/1956: Carlo Longano, Bodynamics Institute, Cape Town.
23/08/1947: Leon Volschenk, Leo D’ Mar, Great Brak River.
23/08/1949: David Sheppard, DP Sheppard & Co, Port Elizabeth.
23/08/1965: Glyn Giani, Julonetix, Pinetown.
24/08/1940: Fred Carpel, agent, Johannesburg.
24/08/1944: Rolf Oltmanns, retired, PMC Group, Pinetown.
24/08/1957: Clive Wood, Crown Footwear, Pinetown.
24/08/1961: Ulf Oehl, BASF SA, Midrand.
25/08/1957: Judy Ambrose, left the industry, formerly agent, Durban.
25/08/1970: Imran Mahomed, Mr American, Malelane.
25/08/1972: Andrew Fenwick, Saddler Belts & Leathercraft, Durban.
25/08/1980: Yvonne Speirs, Fusion Leather, Durban.
25/08/19??: Anthea Ball, Adidas, Cape Town.
27/08/1945: Krish Gangiah, Impact Footwear, Durban.
27/08/1962: Vidrik Thurling, Reptile Trading, Cape Town.


In Memoriam this week

21/08/????: Edward Jones-Davies (b. 10/06/1925), BUSM [closed], Port Elizabeth.
21/09/1993: Bhagwandas Dayaram Ambaram (b. 15/07/1943), JFK Trading, Durban.
22/08/2006: Bob Butler (b. 01/02/1928), Burton’s Shoes, Cape Town.
27/08/2006: Keith Barkus (b. 08/04/1954), agent, Durban.

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


ABSA Agri Trends 18/08: Hides & skins prices

The average bovine hide price over the past week was R13.70/kg green. Hide prices are determined by the average of RMAA and independent companies. The average price for Dorper skins was R43.18/skin and Merino was R98.96/skin.

Hide & skin price progression
Date Hides/Kg Dorper/Skin Merino Skin
19/01 15.34 45.56 81.38
24/01 15.17 40.92 89.52
31/01 15.10 46.00 94.55
14/02 14.65 47.33 95.29
15/03 14.25 39.30 78.75
24/03 14.13 45.27 94.45
28/03 14.07 45.27 94.45
04/04 14.83 41.92 87.58
11/04 14.68 41.92 84.12
19/04 14.77 43.85 92.32
25/04 14.75 41.25 92.27
04/05 14.79 43.33 92.69
10/05 14.75 40.50 88.41
16/05 14.58 40.83 90.96
31/05 14.62 40.50 87.95
09/06 14.58 41.82 96.35
23/06 14.40 40.42 101.25
29/06 14.30 41.36 98.44
07/07 14.33 43.33 100.94
13/07 14.37 44.44 114.58
28/07 14.14 43.64 97.50
04/08 14.16 43.69 99.64
14/08 14.08 38.99 92.75


Trade Fair dates

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


Classified Adverts

Seeking African agencies for N America

Don and Sel is a Manufacturers' Representative based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Founded by Zimbabwean-born leather purist, Tinashe Mandirahwe, who is well aware of the types of footwear, leather and leather goods in Africa especially Southern Africa. We seek to represent select companies that would like to penetrate the USA and Canada markets. Being positioned in Atlanta gives us a good edge. Atlanta has been seeing growth in almost all areas of the economy - logistics, service, real estate and film industries. Georgia has also been ranked the top state in the nation to do business. Let us explore the possibilities together. We are commission based.  Contact Tinashe at / +1-678-431-9626


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Next newsletter: August 28, 2017.

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