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

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.5 No.210, May 27, 2019

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA


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


Retail last week

Comment from 5 retailers on Saturday
"This hasn't been a good week, and today in particular has been quiet, but overall the month so far has been quite good - so much so that I was nicely up on the same period last year. Now, depending on next week, I'll either be up or on par with last year. I'm finding the middle of the month is good because a lot of people are now getting paid then." - Peter Handley, member, Coventry Shoes, Durban, KZN, SA. Independent, 1 store, women's comfort footwear specialist.

"Absolutely awful. The month has been bad, and down on last year." - Champ Harkison, proprietor, Craft Tailors, Boksburg, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 1 store, men's outfitter.

"The week has been good, and the month so far has also been good because of Ramadan. However, every month this year has been up so far, and better than last year. We sell only lifestyle brands like Diesel and Replay, and our own brand, Vialli, which has done well both in our own shops and through wholesale." - Hashim Ismail, member, Crossover, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA. Mini-chain, 12 outlets, branded lifestyle footwear and clothing, and wholesale of own brand.

"It's been a bad week and a bad month. These aren't favourable conditions for business - every day there's some problem over which we have no control, like strikes, road closures, taxis not running, and so on and so on." - Imraan Essack, member, Crown Shoe Centre, Roodepoort, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 3 stores, family footwear.

"The last couple of months people haven't been spending the way they used to, but I can't understand the tie-up between elections and spending. We're all waiting for a turnaround, but I don't know when that will happen. We're increasing our footwear range and reducing the clothing side, because we're doing better with footwear." - Ebrahim Goolam, member, Curtain & Clothing. Independent, 1 store, curtaining, men's and women's clothing and footwear.



TFG: Apparel turnover up nearly 24%

Cape Town, W Cape, SA (May 23) – The Foschini Group's final results for the year to March 2019 showed that revenue increased to R37.128 billion (2018: R31.463 billion), gross profit rose to R18.281 billion (2018: R14.962 billion), profit attributable to equity holders of TFG climbed to R2.638 billion (2018: R2.407 billion), while headline earnings per share grew 5.6% to 1 187.1 cents per share (2018: 1 124.1 cents per share).
       The group said its outlook for trading conditions "remains subdued across all three of the Group's business segments with macro factors creating uncertainty both in South Africa and the United Kingdom." The report read:
       "The Group is however confident that its commitment to successful strategy execution, underpinned by the strategic focus on digital transformation, together with the range of desirable products and differentiated brands, will continue to grow the businesses and market positioning in each of our countries of operation.
       "The Group continues to invest throughout the cycle and has authorised capital expenditure in respect of digital transformation initiatives of approximately R500 million over the short to medium term to support the Group's focus on an enhanced customer experience. Retail trade performance for the first six weeks of the new financial year is in line with management's expectation."
       Turnover growth in clothing (including footwear and leather goods) was significantly higher than TFG's other lines:


  (Group) (TFG Africa) (TFG Africa) (TFG London) (TFG Australia)
Clothing 23,7 11,1 7,5 31,3 58,0
Jewellery 5,0 4,2 3,3   n/a^
Homeware & furniture 8,4 8,4 2,7    
Cosmetics 1,0 1,0 0,2    
Total turnover 19,6 8,9 5,6 31,3 58,3
* Non-comparable due to inclusion of Hobbs (TFG London) and RAG (TFG Australia)
^ American Swiss Australia first year of trade



SACTWU 'threat' to AVI over Green Cross

Cape Town, W Cape, SA – Trade union SACTWU said on Friday it has asked the Competition Tribunal to investigate whether AVI Ltd had breached commitments on jobs it made when it acquired Green Cross Manufacturing in 2012. At the time, AVI said it had bought Green Cross because of its chain of retail stores, but that it was prepared to continue with the factory.
       Late last year it announced it would be closing the factory, which is has now done.
       In the release, by national industrial policy officer Etienne Vlok, SACTWU said Green Cross had been "an unusually robust and successful" footwear manufacturer before the acquisition, and that the factory's decline may have been a "deliberate" strategy by AVI.
       "It is SACTWU’s view that Green Cross would not have closed its factory and retrenched its employees if AVI had not purchased Green Cross. We believe the problems in Green Cross have occurred as a direct outcome of the change of ownership in Green Cross in 2012 and the new strategic and operational decisions which this change introduced into Green Cross. In our view we may have witnessed the deliberate undermining of a formerly successful manufacturer in order to justify its restructuring in-line with AVI’s preferred operating model (imports and retail), or else the Green Cross camel has simply been loaded with too many self-made straws – accumulated inappropriate and wholly avoidable own-goals – which have steadily eroded its solid foundations. The seeds for this destruction have been sown over several years ago and the outcome cannot be divorced from the origin, despite the passage of several years."
       It said it would seek, via the Competition Tribunal, to force AVI to "undo" the merger.
       AVI said at the time of the announcement of the closure that it would switch to importing all its footwear. It is unknown whether it tried to sell the business as a going concern.
       S&V was unable to get comment from AVI on Friday.




Durban, KZN, SA – Grant Hansen, sales director, leather, at Apeco, will be leaving to join Fusion Leather from June 1. He will be based in Cape Town, which is where he originally came from. He was with Apeco for 24 years.
       Brett van Rooyen has joined Apeco as sales manager, leather. Brett had his own agency business, Leather Basics, and has taken some of his principles over to Apeco.


Theo Heffer dies

Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA – Theo Heffer, the long-serving general secretary of the Association of Manufacturers of General Goods and Handbags, died last Tuesday after a long illness. "He will be fondly remembered by all with whom he had contact as a true gentleman, kind, caring and fair to all, in all circumstances (and a great lover of good red wine)," wrote association chair Mandy Owen. "Our condolences go out to his family and friends, and specially to his son and daughter- in-law, Gavin and Lisa, who cared for him so lovingly over the past months." There will be an obituary in S&V Footwear & Leather Goods later this week.



They Said It

This week, some home truths about couples who work together

"I work there, but he doesn't pay me." - Angelina Nieuwoudt, who manages Midland Tannery's leather goods shop. The 'he' is husband Rudie, Midland's GM. They've also developed a buck-passing system; when someone asks either of them a question neither wants to answer, they say "Ask her (him) - he's (she's) the boss."

"She makes the coffee - if I'm good." - Nicolae Sfarlea, leather technician for Smit & Zoon, speaking about his wife, Doina, who had said she now worked for him after leaving DyStar.



S&V Directory - Order now

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2019 Trade Fairs Another essential service from S&V

Please note that we have put a list of the 2019 trade fairs and conferences on our website, linked to their websites:


Exchange rates


  Euro € GBP £ US $ Yuan Renminbi ¥
05/01/2019 R15.94 R17.79 R13.99 R2.03
12/01/2019 R15.86 R17.76 R13.83 R2.04
19/01/2019 R15.76 R17.85 R13.87 R2.04
26/01/2019 R15.52 R17.97 R13.60 R2.01
02/02/2019 R15.26 R17.42 R13.32 R1.97
09/02/2019 R15.46 R17.66 R13.65 R2.02
16/02/2019 R15.90 R18.15 R14.09 R2.08
23/02/2019 R15.90 R18.32 R14.04 R2.09
02/03/2019 R16.17 R18.77 R14.22 R2.12
09/03/2019 R16.22 R18.79 R14.43 R2.14
16/03/2019 R16.31 R19.15 R14.40 R2.14
25/03/2019 R16.31 R19.02 R14.42 R2.14
30/03/2019 R16.26 R18.90 R14.49 R2.15
06/04/2019 R15.80 R18.36 R14.09 R2.09
13/04/2019 R15.76 R18.24 R13.95 R2.08
20/04/2019 R15.86 R18.33 R14.10 R2.10
27/04/2019 R16.03 R18.56 R14.37 R2.13
04/05/2019 R16.08 R18.88 R14.34 R2.13
11/05/2019 R15.91 R18.40 R14.16 R2.07
18/05/2019 R16.09 R18.32 R14.41 R2.08
25/05/2019 R16.15 R18.32 R14.41 R2.08
Note: For previous rates, see HERE




ABSA Agri Trends 24/05: Hides & skins prices

Bovine hides R1.72/kg. NB* Hide prices are determined by the average of the RMAA (Red Meat Abattoir Association) and independent companies. Dorper skins R36.67/skin.

Hide & skin price progression
Date Hides/Kg Dorper/Skin Merino Skin
18/01 3.94 33.75 81.67
25/01 2.89 31.11 92.78
01/02 2.83 30.63 87.50
05/02 2.53    
13/02 2.95    
15/02 2.95 25.83 62.01
19/02 2.01    
22/02 2.00 31.88 49.21
26/02 2.04    
01/03 2.04 30.00 45.21
14/03 1.63    
20/03 1.60    
27/03 1.67    
10/04 1.68    
24/04 1.78    
26/04 1.49 32.50  
03/05 1.82    
17/05 2.05 34.00  
21/05 1.72    
For previous prices, see HERE


27/05/1944: Richard Bunyard, left the industry, formerly GW Cowie & Co, Durban.
27/05/1969: Dean Tharman, Ten Digits, George.
28/05/1958: Brigitte Davidow, Nakara, Windhoek.
29/05/1964: Bevan Lamb, left the industry, formerly Egoli Gumboots (closed), Amanzimtoti.
29/05/1966: Prakash Chapaner, KG Chapaner & Co, Gweru, Zimbabwe.
29/05/1980: Andrew Lang, Rolfes Chemicals, Germiston.
29/05/1987: Saahir Bhamjee, Sbzee Global Trading, Johannesburg.
30/05/1940: Subramonia Balakrishnan, Malar Industries, Ndola, Zambia.
31/05/1951: James Stewart, Tokyo+Co, Cape Town.
31/05/1954: Anthony Pearce, ?, formerly Gringo Leather, Port Shepstone (now Midland Leather).
31/05/1959: Mike Ing, The Ing Thing, Howick.
31/05/1963: Craig Davis, Spunlok, Pinetown.
31/05/1972: Calay Grecia, Classic Components, Pinetown.
01/06/1942: Chris Horne, The Little Slipper Company, Port Elizabeth.
01/06/1947: Peter Howard, left the industry, formerly CPC, Port Elizabeth.
02/06/1946: Freddy Pillay, ?, formerly East Coast Shoes, Chatsworth [closed].
02/06/1975: Shaun Ganesh, Nikkita Footwear, Chatsworth.
02/06/1983: Jana van Vuuren, Maraschino Shoes, Pretoria.


In Memoriam this week

27/05/2002: Stan Austin (b. 28/11/1915), Austin Shoes [closed], Pietermaritzburg.
28/05/2011: Charles Chavkin (b. 20/03/1930), Charles Chavkin Agencies, Johannesburg.
01/06/1992: Harry Gassert (Panther Shoe Co).

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Have a look at these links

We invite businesses to send us links to websites, Facebook pages and the like which they feel would be of interest to others. The links below are from our database:
Astor Berning, fasteners supplier, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA:
At Work Corporate & Leisurewear, apparel for corporate, safety and casual applications:


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Next newsletter: June 3, 2019.

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