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

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.5 No.22, June 3, 2019

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA


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Retail last week

Comment from 4 retailers on Saturday
"It's been bad, and the month as a whole hasn't been good. However, because school wear makes up 80% plus of our business, our busiest months are November to March - the rest of the year we have a sort of a holiday! The balance of the business is men's clothing and footwear, and that hasn't been doing very well." - Moosa Seedat, member, D Town Outfitters, Benoni, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 1 store, school and men's outfitter.

"It's been quite tough, as was the whole month. Yesterday and today picked up a bit, but not to the level we would expect for month-end. There's been no real pattern this year. People don't have money, so they're not motivated to buy." - Imtiaz Kajee, member, Daks International, Bronkhorstspruit, Mpumalanga, SA. Independent, 1 store, men's outfitter.

"Monday to Thursday were very poor. It picked up slightly yesterday, but Saturday is normally quiet in the Pretoria CBD. Hopefully this coming week will be busy, when government workers have money. My May has been 18-25% down on last year, not even taking inflation into account. April was a fairly decent month, 18% up on last April, which was a particularly poor month last year. However, we're becoming more aggressive, improving service and cutting margins to keep the wheels turning." - Dhirendra Bhoola, partner, Danny's Outfitters/Modern Outfitters/Hardy's Outfitters/Benares Tailors, Pretoria, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 4 stores, men's outfitter.

"There's been a bit of a rush at month end, and it's been steady. May has been an improvement, but I don't see this as a trend yet. The first and last weeks of the month are busier." - Mohamed Vadee, member, Danyaal/Branded Feet, Rustenburg, NW Province, SA. Independent, 2 stores, men's outfitter and sport fashion store.




Durban, KZN, SA – Vayej Brothers (Pty) Ltd, which traded as American Menswear and Street Gear, with 33 stores, has gone into liquidation and closed at the end of May, MD Ebrahim Vayej confirmed on Saturday. He declined to go into detail, but said if he resumed trading, it would be in "a small way". His son, Shabeer, who has been ill, resigned from the business late last year.
       Other recent closures in KZN include Brands Unlimited, Classic Menswear, and Le Class/Hip Hop Closet/Street Image in Durban, and BJ Outfitters in Empangeni.



SAFLIA 'satisfied with' CTFL 'Masterplan'

Durban, KZN, SA – SAFLIA "is satisfied with" the main points of the CTFL 'Masterplan' compiled by B&M Analysts on behalf of the Department of Trade & Industry, after "an impassioned meeting" last week between SAFLIA executive director Jirka Vymetal, FLIC director Ernest Heunis, SAFLIA Mancom member John Comley, and B&M chairman Justin Barnes.
       SAFLIA wasn't invited to a presentation of the final draft of the plan on April 24. Nor were any other leather, footwear or leather goods representatives except the unions. B&M later apologised for the "oversight".
       "We appreciate the amount of effort that's gone into compiling the plan," Vymetal said, "and appreciate that it's a good plan.
       "Our view is that a plan of this nature has to be achievable and measurable. There are elements of the plan that, if the right interventions happen, will have a positive impact."
       There are about a dozen elements to the plan, which include clamping down on illegal trading, encouraging international chains operating in SA to source some of their merchandise locally, and persuading all other chains to buy more locally.
       "A lot of good could come from this plan," he said, "provided the chains embrace it and government acts on it."
       The plan covers only footwear sold through retailers, and specifically excludes safety and tender footwear.



Statement on wage negotiations

Durban, KZN, SA – SAFLIA "appreciated the atmosphere and the positive spirit" of this year's wage negotiations, executive director Jirka Vymetal said last week. "It was acknowledged by all parties that last year's strike was a lose-lose for everyone."
       He said the first day of the first round of discussions had been a discussion on the state of the industry, "to give everyone a perspective of where we are and how sustainable the industry is, which it appears was appreciated by all sides, because the negotiations were positive and constructive".
       He said SAFLIA was "delighted" to have achieved a 3-year agreement. "Even though it came at a bit of a price, it created stability, which meant there had to be compromises."
       SAFLIA's management committee meets tomorrow.



Pepkor results: Apparel up 5.2%

Cape Town, W Cape, SA (May 29) – Pepkor Holdings Ltd's clothing and general merchandise business grew 5.2% to R23.1 billion, contributing 66% of group revenue, according to the unaudited interim results for the 6 months ended March 31. Operating profit increased by 6.6% to R3.1 billion. Excerpts from the report:
       The challenging conditions within the discount and retail sectors weighed on sales growth. By Pepkor standards, the sales growth achieved by many of its retail brands was lower than expected. However, the group increased its market share according to the Retail Liaison Committee (RLC).
       Momentum in retail store footprint expansion continued. Retail brands within the segment opened 136 new stores during the period, resulting in a total of 4 310 stores and equating to retail space growth of 4.8% year-on-year. The progressive return of selling price inflation supported healthy sales growth within the core Clothing, Footwear and Home (CFH) product departments.
       In aggregate, PEP and Ackermans reported merchandise sales growth of 5.4% and like-for-like growth of 1.6%, underscoring the challenging consumer environment. Within CFH, selling price inflation of 2.5% was recorded, along with volume growth of 3.5%. Selling price inflation is expected to continue during the remainder of FY19.
       PEP maintained market share and its position as price leader despite the particularly challenging trading conditions within the discount market sector. Performance was supported by good growth in Babies and Home departments, with strong growth achieved in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Financial Services.
       PEP's retail store footprint expanded to 2 265 stores, including 47 new stores opened during the period across its traditional PEP, PEP Home and PEP Cell retail formats, equating to retail space growth of 3.8% year-on-year.
       The new Dealz discount variety retail concept rolled out four additional stores and continues to perform well with strong like-for-like and basket size growth. Plans are in place to open a further six stores during the remainder of FY19.
       Ackermans' strong customer value proposition of providing value to ‘women with kids in their lives' continued to drive growth and outperformed the market once again. A total of 31 new stores were opened during the period, expanding the store base to 759 stores and adding 6.3% retail space year-on-year.
       Growth in CFH was supported by double-digit growth in the Essentials, Babies and Women's Wear product categories. The Ackermans Woman retail format continues to perform well, and an additional three stores were opened during the period, bringing the total store base to 6.
       PEP Africa contributed 3.4% to group revenue during the period and reported like-for-like sales growth of 10.8% in constant currency terms. The devaluation of Angolan and Zambian currencies resulted in a sales decline of 3.4% in reporting currency terms. The business continues to focus on enhancing processes, systems and efficiencies as it consolidates its base. Operations in Nigeria performed very well as the dynamics of the local market are better understood. Zimbabwe remains a concern and operations have been intentionally slowed down while viability is assessed and risk is managed.
       The Speciality division reported strong results with exceptional performances by some of the retail brands, reporting sales growth of 9.4% and like-for-like growth of 4.1%. The total store footprint across five retail brands was expanded to 939 stores, with 47 store openings.
       Footwear businesses Tekkie Town and Shoe City currently face challenging market conditions. Tekkie Town management has been successful in continuing to grow and expand the business while key projects are underway to enhance its supply chain and stock management ability. Dunns has maintained its positive performance trajectory, while John Craig and Refinery continue to report double-digit sales and like-for-like growth.
       For the full report, go to:



They Said It

"You're persistent. I was trying to keep my head under the radar, but you don't give up." - Voden Wearne, who has started a new business in Cape Town persuading brands and retailers to source locally. His first name is Nordic, and his business name is Oden, after the Norse god. You can read about his venture in S&V Footwear & Leather Goods on Wednesday. 'Persistent', when it is applied to me, is probably a synonym for 'irritating', but I choose to take it as a compliment.

"U.S. retailers to date have announced planned 2019 closings of more than 6,500 doors, a number that – through just the middle of the second quarter – has already passed the total number of 5,864 stores shuttered in 2018. The retail doors slated for closure cut across all consumer categories, including softlines, hardlines, furniture, groceries and electronics." - An extract from The Sourcing Journal.



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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
01/06/2019 R16.28 R18.41 R14.57 R2.11
Note: For previous rates, see HERE




ABSA Agri Trends 31/05: Hides & skins prices

Bovine hides R1.74/kg. NB* Hide prices are determined by the average of the RMAA (Red Meat Abattoir Association) and independent companies. Sheep skins: Dorper skins R48.75/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    
24/05 1.72 36.67  
28/05 1.74    
For previous prices, see HERE


03/06/1958: Tom Bailey, Watson Shoes, Great Brak River.
04/06/1956: Romualdo Varela, left SA, formerly Zenda, Pretoria.
05/06/1929: Hannes Louw, retired, formerly KKI, Mossel Bay.
05/06/1960: Tom Bassage, CC Leather, Pietermaritzburg.
05/06/1967: Vimla Naidoo, Edcon, Durban.
06/06/1943: Doug Patterson-Roberts, Marchez Shoe Salon, Shelley Beach.
06/06/1951: Yusuf Mayet, Come Duze Store, Sandton.
06/06/1963: José Leite, SA Polymers & Compounds, Gillitts.
07/06/1984: Clenton Govender, Prisaan Footwear, Pinetown.
08/06/1955: Brad Lemkus, retired, formerly Hi-Tec.
08/06/1958: Sandra Young, left the industry, formerly Archilles Engineering [closed]. Benoni.
09/06/1957: Willem Fourie, Images, Bloemfontein.
09/06/1964: Jayne Pillay, Edcon, Durban.


In Memoriam this week

03/06/2016: Joop de Voest (b. 21/01/1954), Marketing & Planning Consulting Services, De Rust.
04/06/2002: Rex Phillipson (b. 13/4/1917), Picaninni Shoes [closed], Durban.
06/06/2001: Willem Elbers (b. 09/04/1941), East Cape Tanning/BASF.
06/06/2002: Willie Compion (b. 21/10/1929), G&D Shoes [closed], Bulawayo.
06/06/2013: Willem Lubbe (b.25/01/1925), AP Lubbe & Son [closed], Stellenbosch.
09/06/2002: Howard ‘Snowy’ Vaubell, Crown Footwear, Pinetown.
09/06/2003: Dr Stanley Shuttleworth (b. 1911), LIRI [closed] founder, Grahamstown.

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