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

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.6 No.16, April 20, 2020

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

Chains: Hoping for government response this week

Cape Town, W Cape, SA – Chain retailers are expecting "some relief" from government in terms of a resumption of trade, and the National Clothing Retail Federation of SA is suggesting models which would allow that without compromising the health measures of the lockdown, executive director Michael Lawrence said on Friday, but he said the federation didn't expect the government to announce any changes before the end of this week "at the earliest".
       "Trading models for post lockdown are being considered by retail and landlords.
       "Changes to the current situation will probably be in stages, and may include a blend of online and conventional shopping. Whatever solutions are arrived at will be quite a disciplined operation, for staff and consumers. Some retailers have operations in other parts of the world, and have practical advice on how other countries are easing restrictions on apparel retailing."
       He said measures could include thermal scanners to measure the temperature of shoppers as they enter shopping centres, only allowing shoppers wearing masks, limiting customers from trying on certain clothing, and limiting numbers  in malls and stores. He said the information the federation had was that the virus did not survive as long on fabric as it did, for example, on the metal, glass or plastic containers in supermarkets, but the Department of Health would need to offer guidelines nationally.
       "Retailing does need to happen soon, to get product off the shelves which has been there too long.
       "In terms of available stock, there's probably enough, locally and imported, to last a couple of months.
       "In terms of local manufacturing, there need to be conversations to create support mechanisms for bigger manufacturers, and again there probably need to be exemptions from the Competition Act to allow several chains being supplied by a particular manufacturer to all assist in keeping it going, economically and sustainably." -


Rentals: Be persistent, retailers urged

Wholesaler/retailer London Shoes has 4 stores in the Western Cape, each with a different landlord, and each has reacted differently, director Maon Saxe said.
       "Landlord 1 is Redefine," he said, "and they've been excellent. Before the lockdown was extended, they offered a 70% discount on the rental for April, excluding operational costs like lights and water. Now that it's been extended to the end of the month, I'm hoping they will let me off the rent entirely, but not the other costs.
       "Landlord 2 offered a 50% discount. Landlord 3 hasn't responded at all.
       "But Landlord 4, which is a JSE-listed entity with an R11 billion property portfolio, initially offered no discount at all. They did offer to let me pay off the April rent over 6 months, but that doesn't help because I have had no turnover at all. Finally, after lots and lots of emails from me, and after I went on a radio talk show - which was probably what did it - they've offered me a 75% rent reduction for April.
       "The point I want to make to other retailers is: 'Be persistent. Don't give up. Paying staff is the first priority'."

Family outfitting mini-chain Brandz has 6 stores on the KZN South Coast, all with different landlords.
       "I've asked all of them for a waiver of rents for April," member Naseem Essack said. "1 of them has offered less 50%, but I've responded with an alternative proposal. I'm still waiting to hear from the other 5.
       "Some of the rentals include utilities, but where they don't, I have paid the utility bills, which are for March, and I will pay the April bills when they are due."

Lifestyle mini-chain Crossover has 12 stores in malls including Sandton City, Easgate, Menlyn, Canal Walk and Gateway.
       "We've put out a letter to all of them saying we will discuss rents when we get back," said member Hashim Ismail. "Initially, when the lockdown was for 3 weeks, there were some offers from them, but with the extension, we're not prepared to discuss anything until trade actually starts again."

Moda Shoes is a family footwear retailer with 3 stores in Pretoria.
       "I haven’t had any communication from landlords yet specific to my rentals," member Matthew Boltman said.."Only general mails with not much information."


Post-lockdown regulations for factories

By Richard Starmer, FLIC
Once Government and the Health department announce the lifting or partial lifting of the lockdown and declare it safe to re-open the factories, our industry will then be allowed back to work. However, it is envisaged that to do this there will be a need to put certain new procedures and regulations in place, to ensure the safety of everybody returning to work.
       FLIC has put together the attached document, which will serve to guide you on the new recommended guidelines which will need to be implemented prior to re-opening and post re-opening. Please peruse the attached document and start to plan your re-opening strategy accordingly. There is quite a lot to consider. We suggest advance planning for the implementation of these guidelines whilst still on lockdown, so as not to lose time when the green light is given.
See regulations


Covid-19: More DTIC notifications

Pretoria, Gauteng, SA (April 08, 2020) – Dr Jaywant Irkhede, Director: Leather & Footwear at the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition (DTIC), last week forwarded more announcements:

Due to the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the National Treasury in support of the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (DTIC) calls on all compliant, particularly local, suppliers providing commodities listed below to direct their offers to the PMO set up for this purpose. The submissions will be assessed by the support team responsible for coordinating the process, exclusively for the identified commodities.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) descriptions: (Items 11, 12 and 13 were erroneously omitted in the previous communication.)
1. Disposable aprons
2. Protective surgical gowns
3. Protective eyewear
4. Surgical gloves
5. Overshoes
6. Protective hoods
7. Biohazard bags
8. Ventilators
9. Alcohol-Cleaning, disinfectants – clinical
10. Venturi masks
11. Protective Respirators / N95 masks/ FFP2 masks
12. Surgical mask with visor / separate face shield
13. Surgical mask - 3ply

Detailed information should be provided for the above items and submitted directly to the email
The submission should include the following information:
- Supplier name,
- Company registration,
- Central Supplier Database number (CSD),
- Indication of products that can be supplied.

National Treasury continues to advise suppliers to be vigilant during this time and not submit their information to would-be scammers. Suppliers are advised to always first verify with relevant departments before supplying any goods.
The submission through this process does not in any manner or form waive the requirements for compliance outlined in the Central Supplier Database (CSD). Enquiries: Communications Unit Email: Tel: (012) 315 5046


Pan African Leather Fair postponed

By Sam Setter
After the organisers of APLF have decided that June 2020 was not the ideal period to organise an important international leather fair, they have also decided that PALF, the Pan African Leather Fair, which was scheduled to be held for the first time in Cairo 21-23 June, has been cancelled and will have its debut on 21 June 2021. This decision is an expression of great responsibility on the part of the organisers, Informa Egypt, who clearly prioritised the safety of its potential visitors, in spite of the huge efforts they have made and the funds that they have spent to organise the fair. They understood that due to the Corona virus pandemic, 2020 is not the best year to launch a new fair. Anyway with the decision to postpone to June 2021 nothing is lost and the African continent will have its own international leather fair without the Covid-19 baggage. I am sure that all those that had given confidence to the fair, will maintain their support and accept the shift and reconfirm their presence.


FLIC, SAFLEC join forces over lockdown

By Richard Starmer, FLIC
Pietermaritzburg, KZN, SA – SAFLEC and FLIC are proud to announce that they have mutually agreed to join forces on certain projects for the balance of the lockdown period. The two organizations original mandates have been partially disrupted by the lockdown imposed. Once the lockdown is lifted the two organizations will go back to performing against their original mandates and thus operate autonomously again.
       For the immediate future the two organizations have pledged to work together on specific subjects / topics or projects. Any documents or correspondence that are jointly produced as a result of this new working arrangement, will bear both organizations logo’s. SAFLEC and FLIC may also be seen from time to time publishing each other’s documents where it has been mutually agreed upon. This arrangement  is anticipated to achieve a far wider distribution reach. The organization responsible for the production of these documents will display their logo on the document accordingly.
       The SAFLEC and FLIC teams are working from home during this lockdown period. We will be holding video meetings bi-weekly to explore jointly any interventions that we can implement to benefit the industry at large during these uncertain times.


Stock Exchange News Service (SENS)

Massmart: Sales update for the 13 weeks to 29 March 2020

Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA (April 15, 2020) – Massmart’s total sales for the 13-week period 29 March 2020 amounted to R22.0 billion and represents an increase of 1.3% over the prior year, with comparable store sales increasing by 0.9% over the same period. Product inflation is estimated at 2.3%. Total sales from our SA stores for the 13-week period increased by 1.0% over the prior year, while comparable sales increased by 0.6% over the same period. Total sales from our ex-SA stores measured in constant currencies for the 13-week period showed positive sales growth of 4.5% with comparable sales growth also showing a positive movement of 4.4% over the prior year. In Rand terms the positive sales growth on a total basis was 5.0% and 3.5% on a comparable store basis.
       Shareholders are referred to Massmart's SENS announcement issued on 30 March 2020 in which the Group highlighted its response to the current COVID-19 crises as well as the high level of uncertainty this has caused, which complicates meaningful analysis of the Group’s sales trends. Subsequent to the 30 March 2020 announcement a number of other countries in which the Group trades have announced national lockdowns or various trading restrictions. Massmart fully supports national and regional measures to combat the spread of this disease and continues to assess and adapt its responses relative to our customers, associates, stakeholders and business performance. The Group will provide further updates to the market as more clarity is obtained as this crises unfolds. The information above has not been audited or reviewed or otherwise reported on by the Company’s external auditors.


HomeChoice: Dividend declaration

Cape Town, W Cape, SA (April 16, 2020) – HomeChoice released its 2019 annual results on Thursday, 12 March 2020 when the impact of COVID-19 was primarily focused in China and certain countries in Europe. At the time, the Board considered the declaration and payment of a year-end dividend appropriate as the impact of COVID- 19 was expected to be limited to the importation of merchandise from China, for which the Group had already implemented plans to manage delays in production and delivery.
       Subsequent to the dividend announcement, COVID-19 has progressed into a global pandemic and the economic and risk landscapes have changed significantly. The events of the past weeks are unprecedented and the short- and medium-term effects on the local and global economies are significant and uncertain.
       The board believes that it is in the best interests of the Group and its stakeholders to preserve cash reserves during this period of uncertainty. The Group has implemented a significant reduction in loan disbursements and has proactively reviewed and deferred capital and discretionary expenditure.
       Against this background and in the interest of the continued financial health of the Group, the board considers it prudent to postpone the final dividend of 79.0 cents per share, amounting to R83.2 million, that was payable on Monday, 25 May 2020.
       Accordingly, shareholders are advised that the dividend declaration timetable released on Thursday, 12 March 2020 is hereby retracted. Information on the revised timetable will be communicated to shareholders on or about Monday, 24 August 2020, when HomeChoice plans to release its interim results for the half-year ending 30 June 2020.


Woolworths: Change to the company's credit rating

Cape Town, W Cape, SA (April 16, 2020) – Senior Unsecured Floating Rate Noteholders are advised that Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (“S&P”) downgraded the credit rating of WHL with effect from 15 April 2020. The event-driven rating action, prompted by the effects of COVID-19 and the South African Sovereign ratings downgrade, has resulted in the credit rating being revised from ‘zaA+’ to ‘zaA- (Credit Watch Negative)’ on a long term national scale basis.


They Said It

"Sorry I only saw this now. Friday being the start of the long Easter weekend my computer was off and I was busy praying for all of us and our industries." - SAFLIA executive director Jirka Vymetal.

"How about this for a kick in the teeth when a man is down. The first Lockdown was due to end on 17/04/2020, which would mean returning to work on a Friday. The second Lockdown date now ends on 30/04/2020.This means that we retailers return to work on Saturday 01/05/2020, which is a public holiday and we will have to pay double time! Worse still, is the fact that it is, ironically, Workers Day. Last time we spoke, I said that business was 'kak'. Oh, to only have that 'kak' trade back again." - Greg Bing, member, A.P. Jones, Fish Hoek, W Cape, SA.


Got anything you'd like to share?

Do you have any suggestions, comments or experiences about the lockdown that you'd like to share with the industry? We will publish the throughout the lockdown, so please let us know. -


Updating the 2020 S&V Directory

I am using the lockdown to complete the 2020 edition of the S&V Directory. Something productive you could do with your lockdown time is to let me know if you have moved, had any other address or staff changes in the last 12 months. Please mail to


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
2020/02/17 R16.16 R19.44 R14.90 R2.13
2020/02/22 R16.27 R19.43 R15.00 R2.13
2020/02/29 R17.27 R20.08 R15.66 R2.24
2020/03/07 R17.69 R20.44 R15.67 R2.26
2020/03/14 R18.04 R19.94 R16.25 R2.32
2020/03/21 R18.92 R20.50 R17.60 R2.48
2020/03/28 R19.63 R21.93 R17.61 R2.48
2020/04/04 R20.58 R23.37 R19.03 R2.68
2020/04/11 R19.70 R22.43 R18.01 R2.56
2020/04/11 R20.43 R23.49 R18.79 R2.65
Note: For previous rates, see HERE




ABSA Agri Trends: Hides & skins prices

Hide prices (March 25, 2020) - Please note: We will not be sending out any hide reports for the next 3 weeks due to the lockdown period. The hide markets will be closed. - Conce Moraba, agricultural economist, Absa group.

Hide & skin price progression
Date Hides/Kg Dorper/Skin Merino Skin
2020/01/03 1.38 35.00 46.67
2020/01/10 1.42 28.69 45.71
2020/01/17 1.35 30.74 45.71
2020/01/24 1.39 33.75 48.14
2020/02/07 1.36 33.47 47.50
2020/02/14 1.36 33.75 47.50
2020/02/21 1.32 33.75 47.50
2020/02/28 1.29 37.22 43.89
2020/03/06 1.29 36.50 43.50
2020/03/13 1.31 36.00 43.50
Note: For previous prices, see HERE


20/04/1948: Michael Hoffmann, Max-Cowell, Port Elizabeth.
20/04/1954: Barry Clayton, Shoe City, Port Elizabeth.
20/04/1957: Johnny Kleynhans, ConsulTan, Bulawayo.
20/04/1960: Glen Mitchell, Shoprite Checkers, Cape Town.
20/04/1963: Angie Tootla, The Rose Lady, KwaDukuza/Stanger.
21/04/1959: Jirka Vymetal, SAFLIA, Durban.
21/04/1972: Stanton Pullen, reportedly working in Japan.
22/04/1959: John Comley, Eddels, Pietermaritzburg.
22/04/1959: Richard Louw, Quality Store, Lephalale.
22/04/1986: Shaun Moodley, BM Agencies, Durban.
23/04/1951: Jerry Pillay, Triple S Footwear, Durban.
23/04/1997: Latasha Singh, Chillisource, Durban.
25/04/1961: Marcelle Kurth, emigrated, formerly Corbeau, Cape Town.
25/04/1963: Neil Barnes, Millbrook Trading, Durban.
25/04/1971: Clinton Cloete, BBF Footwear, Port Elizabeth.
25/04/1955: Maryrose Lesalaisa, Cee Dee Footwear, Johannesburg.
26/04/1943: Juan Lichnovsky, retired, formerly Futura Footwear, Pinetown.
26/04/1953: Rodney Hill, left the industry, formerly Prime Leathers, Pinetown.
26/04/1964: Desmond Swartz, DS Agencies, Johannesburg.
26/04/1965: Faizel Jeewa, Traford Footwear, Durban.
26/04/1982: Keaton Quarmby, Falke Eurosocks, Cape Town.


In Memoriam this week

20/04/2015: Moira Pascall, Economic Shoe Store, Paarl.
21/04/2012: MG Moodley (b. 08/04/1922), MG Shoes/Ballucci Footwear [both closed], Pietermaritzburg.
22/04/2007: Louise Cowie (b.05/06/?), GW Cowie & Co, Durban.
23/04/2012: Chris van der Merwe (b.05/04/1945), Oasis Tanning, Krugersdorp.
26/04/2005: Bryan Dean (b. 09/01/1939), Amber Footwear [closed], Pietermaritzburg.
26/04/2012: Roy Eckstein (b. 22/10/1941), Reebok, Springfield, and Jaguar [closed], Durban.
26/04/2018: Alan Hornby (b. 16/08/1961), Topline Agencies, Johannesburg.

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:
Carmin & Co, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA. Corporate, security and work wear distributor:
Casa di Arbiter, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA. Men's Italian footwear retailer:


Classified Adverts

Groundcover Leather Company is a small footwear and bag manufacturing factory based in KZN Midlands. We are doing high quality stitch down footwear, bags, belts, and other accessories. We are presently looking for reps in all areas of South Africa except KZN. Anyone interested, please contact us on


Contact us

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

Next newsletter: April 27, 2020.

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