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

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.6 No.06, February 10, 2020

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

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


Retail so far this year

"December was bad, January was worse and so far, February has been quiet." - Mahomed Deedat, proprietor, Main Showroom, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 1 store, men's outfitter.

"It's been a tough year so far, but there's been an upward trend in February. I don't think the year could be worse than last year - in fact, I think there will be a great improvement." - Ismail Karolia, director, Malvern Shoe & Clothing, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA. Independent, 1 store, family outfitter.

"December was very quiet because we had terrible weather, and people did other things, like go on wine routes. January and February have been much better, weather wise, people have been going to the beach, and we've been much busier, thankfully, because this is a very seasonal business and we are very quiet in winter." - Tony Jamieson, partner, Rainbow, Cape Town, W Cape, SA. Independent, 1 store, beachwear.

"It's very, very tight. December was 30% to 40% down, and this year has been slow. There's not much sign of a pick-up, and problems like load shedding are really hurting us. I've added school uniforms to give us extra business." - Yunus Hansa, proprietor, Luggage Centre, Newcastle, KZN, SA. Independent, 1 store, travel goods, family footwear and school uniforms.



'Resignation of SABS acting CEO a huge blow to business and consumer confidence' says DA

ANA Press Release Wire
Pretoria, Gauteng, SA (February 7)  – The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been reliably informed that South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Acting CEO, Garth Strachan, has suddenly resigned after a spectacular fallout with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Director General (DG), Lionel October.
       This stems from the portfolio committee’s oversight to the SABS this week where we were told that the entity is essentially bankrupt, will run out of cash in the next financial year and is battling to attract thousands of customers it lost under the previous delinquent Board and management which was dissolved under former DTI Minister Rob Davies.
       The DA posed questions on what a ‘repurposed' version of SABS would look like given the financial realities of impending bankruptcy which would have to involve staff retrenchments and liquidation of assets.
       It is clear this question and Mr. Strachan’s answers led to the blow-out between him and the DG who seems completely opposed to this sensible and logical plan for SABS, and is more concerned with pacifying NEHAWU-affiliated employees who have embarked on an unprotected strike this week at the SABS.
       There can be no doubt that the departure of Mr. Strachan will have a knock-on effect for exporters who rely on the SABS for quality assurance in international markets and for consumers who expect goods that display the SABS mark to meet minimum standards for health and safety.
       This drama in the SABS must be urgently addressed by Minister Ebrahim Patel and for this reason that the DA will write to him and request the full reasons for Mr. Strachan’s resignation to be made known as well as a plan for the way forward.
       The DA believes that the SABS has a big role to play in quality assurance to support our exporters and to give local consumers peace of mind which is why we believed in Mr. Strachan’s ‘repurposed’ version of the SABS and will continue to fight for it.



Pepco Group is Steinhoff SA Holdings' European subsidiary - the equivalent of Pepkor in Africa. It operates in 14 countries, mostly in Eastern Europe, as well as the UK, Ireland and Spain. Apparel is a relatively new addition to its offering: Its fashion brand is Pep & Co, carried by Poundland in the UK and now in standalone stores as well.

Pepco Group – Quarter 1 Trading Update: PEPCO led strong peak trading performance across all retail brands

(February 5, 2020) – The fast-growing pan-European variety discount retailer, Pepco Group, owner of the PEPCO and Dealz brands in Europe and Poundland in the United Kingdom (UK), today reports a trading update for the first quarter ending December 2019.

The first quarter, which represents approximately one third(4) of full year revenue and contributes a more significant proportion of earnings, saw continued strong total revenue growth of 13.3%. This was driven both by the ongoing expansion of the Group’s PEPCO and Dealz formats in Europe where, at the close of the quarter, the Group traded from 2,809 stores, an increase of 14.8% over the year, and by continued like-for-like (LFL) growth of 3.9%.
       The Group continued to make strong strategic progress through increasing the size of the PEPCO store portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), commencing the roll-out of the Dealz format in both Poland and Spain, and reducing operating costs within Poundland, including the successful renegotiation of a further 36 store leases.

PEPCO expanded its store portfolio by over 20% year-on-year, opening 94 net new stores in the quarter. In addition, it upsized or relocated a further 23 stores. Recognising the identified future store capacity in all the territories that it operates, PEPCO opened stores in 10 of the 11 CEE countries including a further 12 stores in Bulgaria increasing the portfolio there to 32 stores, less than a year after the first store was opened. We continue to expect to open around 300 PEPCO stores in the full financial year.
       Having been evaluated as a highly attractive incremental expansion opportunity, PEPCO will open its first store in Italy in April as part of its plan to build to a trial scale of up to ten stores by the end of the calendar year.        When set against challenging comparatives, the continued strong LFL growth in PEPCO, which results in a two-year LFL of over 17%, is particularly pleasing. PEPCO’s growth reflects the continued investment in the customer offer with toys, benefitting from earlier introduction into stores and a widened product offer, and seasonal decorations performing particularly strongly.

  Poundland / Dealz
In the context of a weak consumer back drop, LFL growth of 1.3% in Poundland is considered likely to have resulted in further market share gains. This performance included Poundland’s record trading day on 23rd December 2019 where it served almost 1.6m customers. Revenue benefitted from the continued strong performance of the PEP&CO clothing brand, which is now present in 301 UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) stores, and the progressive introduction of extended product ranges at price points above and below the £1 anchor price point within the core health and beauty, household and grocery categories.
       The mainland European Dealz business continues to develop positively, building the necessary confidence in both the customer proposition and the business model economics to commence a store roll-out programme. In the quarter, 22 stores were opened, increasing the portfolio by over 40% versus the year-end position. We intend to open up to 50 new stores in the full financial year.

  Commenting on the results, Andy Bond, CEO Pepco Group, said:
“Pepco Group has continued to deliver operational and strategic progress, in this important trading quarter, reflecting our clear growth strategy, centred on the significant long-term opportunity for further PEPCO stores in central Europe, together with a focus on day-to-day retail execution. This combination has secured another quarter of strong revenue growth, both in total and like-for-like terms, in each of the Group’s brands.
       With an established strategy, leading customer proposition within a structurally advantaged discount retail segment and a strong financial base, we remain confident about our prospects for continued growth across Europe in the balance of the financial year and beyond.”

Explanatory Notes:
1. Revenues are unaudited at this point. Foreign currency revenues are translated at the average rate for the month in which they are made.
2. Year-on-year revenue growth on a constant currency basis.
3. LFL revenue growth is defined as year-on-year revenue growth for stores open beyond their trading anniversary.
4. Q1 revenue as a proportion of the last 12 months’ revenue, based on Q1 FY20 LFL revenue and Q2 to Q4 FY19 total revenue, in order to minimize the distortion from new store growth.



They Said It

"If you want to get a chain to return your call, you have to charm the receptionist." - Topside Footwear agent Ian Gordon.

"I had some crises these last two weeks, and that's an understatement!" - Shaakira Isaacs, brand manager, Crocs SA. And so say all of us, Shaakira.


The 2020 S&V Directory - Order now

The 2020 edition of the S&V Directory is in production and will be available in January. The online version is available immediately at R450 for 12 months' access.


2020 Trade Fairs Another essential service from S&V

Please note that we have updated most 2020 trade fairs and conferences on our website, linked to their websites:



Exchange rates


  Euro € GBP £ US $ Yuan Renminbi ¥
2020/01/04 R15.97 R18.71 R14.31 R2.05
2020/01/11 R15.97 R18.76 R14.36 R2.07
2020/01/18 R16.04 R14.47 R14.47 R2.10
2020/01/25 R15.87 R18.82 R14.39 R2.07
2020/02/01 R16.54 R19.81 R15.00 R2.16
2020/02/08 R16.48 R19.41 R15.06 R2.15
Note: For previous rates, see HERE




ABSA Agri Trends: Hides & skins prices

Hides: The current average hide price is R1.42/skin. The current price is 2.9% higher than prices were a month ago and the current hide price is 64.1% lower than prices were a year ago. The local market remains under pressure. Global slaughter continues at a good rate, with global hide stocks also rising. Locally week on week prices were supported by the re-opening of the automotive plants and lower slaughter numbers. - Conce Moraba, agricultural economist, Absa group.

Hide & skin price progression
Date Hides/Kg Dorper/Skin Merino Skin
2020/01/03 1.38    
2020/01/10 1.42    
2020/01/17 1.42 28.69  
2020/01/24 1.35 30.74  
Note: For previous prices, see HERE


12/02/1951: Jack Bassage, Eddels Shoes, Pietermaritzburg.
12/02/1961: Jon Robb, Neptun Boot, Pinetown.
12/02/1968: Pino di Lembo, Villani Shoes, Johannesburg.
12/02/1968: Sean Hadnum, Chillisource, Durban.
13/02/1943: Val Barnes, retired, formerly Edcon, Durban.
13/02/1950: Rowan Allison, Midland Leather, Pinetown.
13/02/1950: Dhiraj Dajee, Avalon Job Buyers, Cape Town.
13/02/1964: Jean-Marc Tostee, agent, Durban.
13/02/1975: Naeem Sonpra, Sonpra Bros, Polokwane/Pietersburg.
13/02/1977: Steven Eckstein, emigrated, formerly Sports Action, Durban.
14/02/1951: Maryse de Ranero, Great Brak River.
14/02/1975: Alita Scholtz, All Protection Safety, Vanderbijlpark.
14/02/19??: Janine du Preez, freelance consultant, Cape Town.
15/02/1957: Ashraf (Baboo) Kader, Kaytex Belts, Pretoria.
15/02/1965: Sanjay Nana, Navada Clothing, Johannesburg.
16/02/1955: Hennie Roets, BKB, Port Elizabeth.
16/02/1966: Lorraine Jackson, agent, Johannesburg.
16/02/1987: Mohamed Hoosen, Winners, Klerksdorp


In Memoriam this week

10/02/1997: Don Craig, Cape Knife, Cape Town.
11/02/2009: Frederick Bernard Cattell (b. 17/08/1917), Cattell’s, Springs.
14/02/2004: Brian Matkovich (b. 06/02/1941), Futura Footwear, Pinetown.

Have you let us know about your birthday, or the birthdays of your colleagues? Our readers love this section, so please become part of it. This also applies to the In Memoriam section. Help us remember former colleagues.


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:
Bulelani, Cape Town, W Cape, SA. Designer and crafter.
Bummel Leather Crafted Shoes, George, W Cape, SA, Designer and crafter.


Classified Adverts

Corvari Footwear
Sales Reps wanted for Gauteng

Looking for a sales representative to cover the Gauteng area for our Natural Steps brand. Knowledge of ladies’ footwear is essential. Please send a detailed CV to Caroline at


A position exists for a factory manager for a small footwear factory in Pietermaritzburg. The salary will be negotiable on a cost to company basis. The applicant must have a sound knowledge of footwear manufacture and be able to control a labour force of 120 operators.
Please forward CV to:

Sales Rep seeks position

Robbie Thorne, with 30 years' sales experience in the footwear industry, seeks a sales position. Equally at home with components and finished footwear. Whatever your product, I will do it justice. Please call 072 633 2258.


Contact us

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

Next newsletter: February 17, 2020.

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