SA shopping malls continue to thrive, despite contrary views

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Recent suggestions that large shopping malls in South Africa are dying or becoming redundant are simply not accurate. While malls may be changing hands, those being sold within the property industry are undergoing revamps to meet evolving shopper needs.

Surine Griffin, chief operations officer at Broll Property Management, says while it is true that the South African shopping landscape is evolving, this does not mean shopping centres are dying or becoming white elephants any time soon.

“Recent reports in the media have drawn comparisons with the retail environment in the United States, where shopping behaviour and trends differ significantly from SA. Our shopping centres may not be trading at the same levels they were prior to the pandemic, but they are still trading – and trading well.”

Of course, online shopping is increasing in SA, especially grocery shopping. “Shopping for necessities is the largest driver of e-commerce in SA. For tenants, however, overall turnover from online shopping accounts for less than 5% of their total sales, a figure that has grown by about 40% since Covid,” notes Griffin.

In addition, Griffin notes that malls continue to be built in SA, mostly in the 20,000 square metre to 30,000 square metre category. “There has definitely been a decline in the construction of mega malls, but the number of mid-sized malls being built is on the rise. And, numerous older centres are being revamped, a trend that is evident in all provinces throughout the country. To add to this, some property owners are expanding overseas.”

She says South Africans continue to enjoy visiting centres for the experience of eating out or shopping, particularly fashion items. “Many people who live in outlying and rural areas look to community shopping centres to get unique experiences.

“In this respect, landlords are creating a greater number of ‘experiences’ for their visitors, increasing the number of activations and other activities aimed at enticing and entertaining visitors to malls,” she says.

Immersive shopping experiences

She says there is also a move towards more immersive and interactive shopping, in line with trends in Japan and Singapore, which she visited recently. “Although in its early stages in SA, shopfronts are starting to include movement to showcase products and attract customers.

“Malls are also increasing the number of interactive and pause areas – incorporating lifestyle-centric furniture and accessories – in common spaces to allow for reading, relaxation and dining.

“Some are converting roof space with artificial grass, lounges and umbrellas to invite people to take a break or have lunch. These efforts are aimed at making consumers feel safe, relaxed and able to spend more time in the centres.”

That said, this shift in SA is slower than in other countries, given that South African landlords have had to prioritise challenges relating to load shedding and riots.

“Load shedding and riots have increased pressure on SA landlords’ bottom lines. They have been compelled to invest in sustainability and security measures to ensure their centres are more secure and continue to trade during power outages,” says Griffin.

Strategic cost management

She says property managers such as Broll are focusing on reducing costs in the prevailing market. “We are focused on ensuring we manage the expense line tightly to add value to the bottom line for our clients. New, cost-effective initiatives are being considered and tech-forward solutions are being explored and implemented.

“Another focus is filling vacancies. On the back of recent agreements to end long-term exclusivity deals, several new local players are entering the market, presenting us with the opportunity to bring them into our centres and to offer our consumers greater variety.”

Broll’s Energy, Water and Sustainability (EWS) arm is focused on helping clients navigate new regulations and become more resilient in the face of looming power and water cuts.

“Broll EWS is well positioned to assist clients in improving the overall productivity of their built environments, from minimising energy spending and reducing operating costs; to creating automated processes to ensure correct billing and recharging of accounts; and coming up with mitigating strategies to reduce the risks associated with energy and water scarcity.

“There is no doubt that shopping malls are here to stay for the foreseeable future. At Broll, we are committed to offering property owners the best possible support to ensure they are well positioned to attract footfall and provide consumers with compelling shopping experiences,” concludes Griffin.

Shoprite Group offers unemployed youth employment and careers

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Unemployed and unskilled South African youth (aged 18 to 34) are now invited to apply for specialist training and educational programmes at the Shoprite Group throughout the year.

With youth unemployment at a staggering 63.9%, the Group’s talent attraction and development strategy places a strong focus on offering early careers to unemployed youth.

Through its Retail Readiness Programme, the Group has invested over R586m into more than 32,000 learners since 2016.

Arguably the largest and most successful skills development initiative undertaken by a South African retailer, the seven-week programme equips unemployed youth with the basic skills required to work in a retail environment or to start their own business.

Upon successful completion of the programme, participants receive NQF-level 3 part qualifications.

Yes Initiative

As the highest impact employment creator in the YES Initiative, the Group has created 7,387 work opportunities for youth since 2018.

Yes learners receive 12 months on-the-job training at various in-store service departments, including the bakery, deli and fresh foods.

Upon successful completion of the Retail Readiness Programme or Yes Initiative, many learners are offered the opportunity to join the Group, with 1,427 doing so in 2022.

From student to assistant manager

“I went from a student in the Retail Readiness Programme to trainee manager, then assistant manager in just over a year. The Shoprite Group recognised my talents and supported me in my career journey. If you’re keen to learn, there’s always someone willing to teach you something here at Shoprite,” says Amanda Ngobese, assistant manager at Usave Richmond, Pietermaritzburg.

Opportunities to learn

“When I finished the Yes programme in 2020, my then manager encouraged me to apply for the management trainee programme. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a number of stores and the journey has been incredible and also full of surprises. Shoprite has given me opportunities to not only learn about the business, but also to grow with the business,” says Phenyo Mogale, sales manager at Shoprite Northam, Limpopo.

To apply

To apply for one of the Group’s youth development programmes:


    • Send a WhatsApp to 087 240 5709 and select Job Opportunities
    • Visit
    • Submit your CV at the nearest Shoprite, Checkers or Usave supermarket.


Visit the Shoprite Group’s Youth Opportunities web page for more information.

Ackermans brings international kidswear brands to SA market

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South African value retailer Ackermans has introduced two international brands, Lilly + Sid and Turtledove London, to its kidswear range in select Ackermans stores.

Pepkor-owned Ackermans notes that globally, consumers are calling for the fashion industry to prioritise mindful sustainability and an ethical agenda. In a bid to contribute towards this movement, the new brands were selected as they offer affordable premium organic cotton garments that “put people and planet first”.

Merlin Norman, marketing chief executive at Ackermans, says, “As the largest value retailer in South Africa, we have a responsibility to offer our consumers a more sustainable option.”

Lilly + Sid is an LBP (Loved By Parents) award-winning brand, a trusted global parenting award programme. The brand is said to offer timeless, colourful designs that are made from premium, 100% organic cotton fabrics designed to be re-loved for many years. Norman adds, “We want people to be able to purchase these clothes with the idea of contributing to the circular economy, by passing them on to friends and family once their little ones outgrow them.”

Lilly + Sid is also dedicated to taking little ones on magical learning journeys via its site, which offers educational TV shows, free colouring-in downloads, ‘spot the difference’ and other highlights for parents seeking activities for their kids. This dedication to families and to fostering fun is additionally what attracted Ackermans to the brand.

Turtledove London celebrates gender-neutral clothes made from 100% premium organic cotton with Azo-free dyestuffs.

Norman says, “We love Turtledove for its gorgeous unisex clothes that are classic/timeless and designed as antidotes to fast fashion and fast living. Similar to Lilly + Sid, these items are made to last and be re-loved.”

She adds, “We know that baby and kids’ clothes especially are often passed down, contributing to a circular economy we are proud to be part of. By bringing Lilly + Sid and Turtledove London to South Africa, we are investing in two beautiful, premium organic cotton brands that offer clothes that are softer and kinder to the skin and the environment too.

We hope to see these clothes enjoyed by generations of South African children for many years to come.”

The brands will be exclusively available in selected stores and online via Ackermans Click&Collect, under the ‘Baby’ and ‘Kids’ tab on the Ackermans website.

TFG upbeat about growth despite load shedding, economic pressures

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Fashion and lifestyle retail group TFG grew retail turnover for the first half of the financial year by 23.5%, boosted by its Tapestry Home Brands acquisition, local clothing manufacturing drive and continued store rollout and upgrades.

TFG CEO Anthony Thunstrom. Source: Supplied

The group, which owns retailers including Foschini, Markham and @home, said it achieved this turnover without sacrificing margin as demand for its products continued to increase and resulted in gross profit growth of 24.8% to R11.6bn. Strong trade, along with the company’s continued focus on resetting the cost base, delivered growth of 44.5% in earnings per share.

This was achieved despite continued disruptions in all territories during the period, including increased levels of load shedding in South Africa where close to half a billion rands of turnover was lost, severe flooding in Australia and double-digit inflation in the UK.

TFG Australia turnover grew 48.7% and expanded gross profit margins by a further 4.9%, while TFG London achieved top-line growth of 21.2%, against a backdrop of cooler consumer spending with operating profit margins of 8.0%.

132,000 trading hours lost to load shedding

“In TFG Africa, the post-pandemic economic recovery is progressing gradually, showcased by surprising resilience in consumer spending, despite the high unemployment rates, reduced consumer confidence and increased levels of Eskom load shedding,” said TFG CEO Anthony Thunström.

The spike in load shedding resulted in approximately 132,000 lost trading hours during the first half of FY2023. This was 2.6 times more than the trading hours lost during the comparative period.

The impact of load shedding is being mitigated by investing in backup power solutions, installed across stores throughout South Africa. TFG has also deployed mobile point-of-sale devices across key stores to enable trade during load shedding.

Bash and TFG Rewards

In June, TFG launched in beta a new fashion and lifestyle shopping platform, Bash. This platform will become a home for all of TFG’s brands as the group pursues its vision of “creating remarkable omnichannel experiences” for its customers. At full launch the platform will offer more than 100,000 SKUs, eclipsing local competitors.

The group also continued to grow its Rewards customer base, adding approximately a million new members in the year to date and bringing the total to almost 30 million.

“One out of every two South Africans is now a TFG Rewards member – and we are working on the rest,” said Thunström. “Rewards customers are proven to represent significantly higher value, are higher frequency shoppers with TFG and have a higher uptake of value-added services.”

The group continued to invest in its extensive store build-out and opened 159 new stores in the period. These openings, along with a continued programme of store refurbishments and right-sizing translates into the group delivering an average of two store projects a day.

Tapestry deal

TFG outperformed market growth in both apparel and homeware categories.

In apparel, TFG said that growth was driven by strong speciality brands, the group’s sourcing and quick response advantage through local manufacture, and store build-out, particularly in non-metro areas. In homeware, the sustained expansion of the Jet Home format and stores, and the diversification across income segments and fashionability categories through the acquisition of Tapestry, contributed to robust growth, the group said.

“Since the acquisition of Tapestry Home Brands from 1 August, we have integrated that business and introduced TFG credit to all Tapestry stores. Furthermore, we have leveraged our group scale to secure key new locations for the Tapestry brands,” said Thunström.

“The acquisition seeks to provide the group with exposure to new and diverse products and categories as well as gaining new customers to complement the TFG customer base in existing categories. The transaction is in line with TFG’s stated strategy of vertical integration in key product categories and the continued development of its quick response local manufacturing capability.”

6,000 new jobs in 6 months

“The group continues to demonstrate its resilience and agility and is best positioned to trade through cyclical headwinds and stretched consumer wallets in all our territories,” said Thunström.

“We continue to invest in our key strategic initiatives to further strengthen our differentiated business model. We have made progress on our strategic objectives and speciality brand business portfolio, and continue to eye organic and inorganic growth opportunities. A specific focus will be on the Tapestry business to maximise the value from our investment,” Thunström said.

“In the context of TFG’s investment in excellence, and particularly in people that have the potential to drive change in South Africa and TFG, I’m especially proud of the more than 6,200 jobs we have added over the past six months and the launch of the Data Science and Leadership Fellowship, which will fund outstanding young South African students in the field of data science.

“Additionally in the last six months, TFG has established a Sustainable Design Incubator which is already supporting its first cohort of young emerging designers.

“These are prime examples of our commitment to sustain ourselves and our stakeholders into the future through fashion that connects, shares and restores,” Thunström said.

Cape Union Mart Group launches design studio to drive localisation

Article by Lauren Hartzenberg on BizCommunity.


With a goal to produce 65% of products locally by 2028, the Cape Union Mart Group has launched the Green Thread Studio, a creative hub to facilitate the growth of local clothing design and production.

Credit: Tegan Smith Photography

The design studio will be the core design and production hub for Poetry, Old Khaki and Keedo, and its establishment has created 220 jobs in manufacturing and 33 in design.

“We have a multi-billion rand investment in this country. We’ve got a massive distribution centre, we’ve got two factories that employ nearly 600 people. We have some 300 stores, and we have over 3,300 employees. We are totally committed to South Africa,” Cape Union Mart Group’s executive chairman Philip Krawitz said at the launch event.

Credit: Tegan Smith Photography

The family-owned retail group plans to provide its retailers with more product lines that can be made locally at a competitive price, with the same (or better) quality standards expected from international suppliers. By accelerating localisation efforts, it also aims to support communities with job opportunities and generate more business for local fabric and trim SMME suppliers.

The group has set itself the target of running 280,000 units and 385 styles through the design studio in 2023, and aims to grow this to 360,000 units with more than 500 styles in 2024.

“We’re more than just creating jobs, we’re thinking ahead. We’ve always sent buyers overseas to see what styles are available … What’s wrong with us? We’ve got great creative people, people with incredible imagination and wonderful taste. We have to change the negative mindset that everyone overseas is better, because local is lekker. Let’s have faith in South African design and creativity…” said Krawitz.

The Green Thread Studio will give the company better control over the evolution of product creation, and allows for closer collaboration between buyers, designers and production teams.

Krawitz added, “Most of the big retailers are wanting to convert more production locally, especially on the back of a challenging two years which has made everyone aware of the risks of supply chain. To produce locally, businesses need to have the correct set-up to support this strategy, and we wanted to set ourselves up for this growth according to best practice.”

Cape Union Mart Group executive chairman Philip Krawitz. Credit: Tegan Smith Photography

Upskilling new talent

Growing local production often requires an investment in manufacturing training to allow for the transfer of technical skills developed by previous generations of pattern makers, cutters and machinists who worked in SA’s apparel industry when it was globally competitive. Training can also equip manufacturers and suppliers to build production capacity sustainably.

Cape Union Mart Group owns two factories in Cape Town – K-Way Manufacturers in Ottery, which produces for Cape Union Mart, and Green Thread Manufacturers in Paarden Eiland, which produces for the group’s other retail brands and from which the new design studio has been created.

Credit: Tegan Smith Photography

The group has been aiding the introduction of fresh talent into the clothing manufacturing industry, with facilities to train and upskill newcomers with the aim of creating employment for them.

There is a great focus on ensuring the machinists are multi-skilled and able to flex to different commodities as the needs and demands change relating to trend and supply. According to the company, this is a major consideration in safeguarding the success of the group owning its own CMTs.

Streamlining production: from conception to creation

As a design-led retail group, it made sense to invest more in the design segment of the business, Shelley Prinsloo, GM of Poetry and Green Thread Studio, said during the event. She explained that having the design operation previously located in Paarden Eiland wasn’t ideal, and that bringing the design centre closer to the head office could improve collaboration so that “every design element was considered and designed from conception stage to production.”

Now, with the Green Thread design studio located alongside the retail group’s head office in the Cape Town city centre, it provides the opportunity for buyers and designers to work closely side-by-side on creating and reworking products as needed.

Credit: Tegan Smith Photography

On the ground floor of the design studio is a small factory focused on pre-production manufacturing, shortening the time between conception of an idea to the mock-up of a product. By producing more locally, Cape Union Mart believes it can improve efficiency and ramp up speed to market.

Prinsloo said, “We’re conscious about streamlining our production lead times. For every style that you create there are often multiple samples that get exchanged between the buying team and the supplier. What the design centre enables is for the buyers and designers to work closely together. It eliminates some of the wastage and it also reduces carbon emissions because we’re not transporting samples all around the world.”

Sustainability was a core value that drove the creation of the Green Thread Studio. According to the group, it’s now better equipped to develop and evolve its fabrics and fabric prints with a focus on increasing the number of sustainable fabrics used.

Determined to eliminate materials going to landfill, the group employs a minimal waste approach where fabric off-cuts are upcycled to minimise the amount of waste that occurs through sampling. About 500kg of offcuts are rewoven and reused monthly by the group, and scraps are also donated to NGOs that upcycle them into products that they sell.

“Sustainability is really a journey on its own and we’re learning as we go. We’re bringing it to the forefront of our thinking. Our design ethos has always been to put endurance, style and quality first, and this ethos has given birth to our commitment to sustainability,” Prinsloo said.

Truworths plans major new distribution centre in Cape Town

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Truworths has signed a deal to build a new “world-class” Western Cape distribution centre in Cape Town’s King Air Industria, an Atterbury Property and Old Mutual Properties industrial development.

Source: Supplied

The project is a joint venture between King Air Industria and Truworths Limited.

Consolidating Truworths facilities

Developed by Atterbury and tailor-made for Truworths who will lease the facility, the new building will consolidate Truworths’ various Cape Town facilities under one roof.

The development’s 53,000m2 initial phase consists of a 3,000m2 office and 50,000m2 warehouse and includes the option to expand to 70,000m2.

Designed to target an internationally recognised Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) sustainability certification, the new development for Truworths is due to break ground in October 2022 and the building is due for completion in September 2023.

Source: Supplied

Emanuel Cristaudo, chief financial officer of Truworths, comments, “As a result of business growth we have spent some time looking to build a larger, state-of-the-art, distribution centre to accommodate our future requirements.

“The proximity of King Air Industria and the business park benefits have led us to conclude an agreement with Atterbury who we also feel has a good understanding of our warehousing business needs. This positions us well for the future and we are looking forward to the completion of this project.”

Prime position

Arno du Plessis, Atterbury’s development manager for King Air Industria Cape Town, says, “Truworths is an excellent addition to King Air Industria Cape Town, and we are excited to be working with this leading national and international retailer.

“The development rollout of King Air Industria is making excellent progress and attracting a high calibre of businesses that want to be near the airport, but also seek quality, efficient premises that support both their business and sustainability goals.”

Atterbury notes King Air Industria’s easy access to Cape Town International Airport cargo terminals as a significant advantage. It is located between Airport Approach, Borcherds Quarry, Robert Sobukwe and Pallotti roads and connected to the city and inland region with easy access to the N2 highway and the R300 freeway.

The 72ha King Air Industria Cape Town is already home to The Courier Guy operating in a 10,112m2 turnkey facility, and Morgan Cargo in a 7,500m2 provincial head office building that also includes a specialised cold storage facility.

At other properties, Atterbury also recently signed a deal with Takealot for a 20,400sqm second phase of its Richmond Park distribution facility, which will take the facility’s total size to 44,000m2 when it is completed in June 2023. It also signed hardware retailer Brights for 6,000m2, which will be completed in November 2023.

Retail and the metaverse: A new world of consumer connection

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The metaverse could be a market worth $800bn by 2024, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Although not a new concept and with a long road ahead, the word “metaverse” has been on everyone’s lips since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta and thus positioned itself as a major player in the new virtual world.

Cezar Pereira, strategic account director at Tiendeo, a company that specialises in the digitalisation of the retail sector, poses the following question: Are we facing a fleeting fad or a new world that is opening the doors to a powerful business model? He invites us to ask ourselves what we think of the metaverse, to enter this world to find out how it is changing people’s lives, the opportunities it offers retailers and brands to connect with the consumer.

A new universe in the making

The metaverse is a virtual space that we can connect to through devices such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) glasses or helmets and applications that offer the promise of an immersive experience that feels like we are actually there, interacting with other people and objects.

In this alternative world, everything will be possible through an avatar: buying goods and services, attending concerts, travelling, playing games and even working. Pereira states that the amazing thing about this universe is that you can teleport from one experience to another without leaving your room. The development of the metaverse seeks to extend the real world into the virtual world by making everyday actions into a spectacle.

Of course, it will be necessary to understand a necessarily complex universe, made up of not one but dozens of metaverses. In the United States, for example, there are four major companies competing to be number one in the race to dominate the metaverse: Meta (Facebook), Roblox, Fortnite and Microsoft, as well as other technological giants that will also set the tone for this industry in the coming year.

What makes the metaverse so appealing?

The great potential of this technology as a business model is what has led several companies to create their own “omniverses”. Pereira says that to be successful they must understand that the user ventures into the metaverse to escape from the real world, because it offers them the alluring possibility of creating their own personality: to show themselves as they “feel” they are and not how they are physically, taking the user experience to another level.

This introduces a new form of interaction between consumers and brands through the D2A (direct-to-avatar) model where we will no longer buy clothes for ourselves, but for our representation in the metaverse. The challenge for companies will be to get people to carry out the bulk of their activities in this digital universe, just as we do in the physical world, giving rise to virtual marketplaces that already move large sums of money.

This is not so far-fetched in an age where humans are already glued to technology, whether professionally, socially or both, and it is speculated that by 2030 we will spend more time in the metaverse than in “real life”. As such, the desire to dominate the new virtual spaces reveals an eagerness to control the way people interact with each other, says Pereira.

Metaverse at the forefront of retail

He adds that the opportunities offered by the metaverse are endless, especially in the field of commerce. Technology company Wildbytes estimates that in the next five years, 70% of major brands will have a presence in the metaverse. By 2023 some companies are already promising to launch a new product while others are already looking at the possibility of creating shopping centres, boutiques and virtual shops where avatars will be able to buy NFT products and pay in cryptocurrencies.

The retail sector is one of the most heavily invested in the metaverse. For example, Gucci has already started selling its own virtual clothing, the Gucci Virtual 25 trainers and H&M has recently launched its first virtual collection through Nintendo’s social simulation game Animal Crossing.

Ikea also uses AR technology in its app to allow customers to create their own spaces and see how furniture would look in the physical world using AR technology.

There are brands that go even further and have no hesitation about making a clear commitment to the metaverse. This is the case for Nike, which has gone so far as to create its own virtual universe: Nikeland. A space that offers access to various sporting arenas, as well as a showroom where users can equip their avatars with Nike shoes to take part in competitions.

The brand also uses it as a testing ground so that younger generations can experience its new products through avatars before purchasing them in real life.

In short, Pereira says the metaverse revolution holds the promise of a digital experience in which the virtual world and the real world intertwine and merge under a single reality. It is now up to brands and retailers to find their place in it and explore its full potential.

Nike buys NFT fashion and collectibles startup RTFKT

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Sportswear giant Nike, Inc. has acquired RTFKT, a virtual sneaker and collectibles startup, for an undisclosed sum. Launched in 2020, RTFKT has gained popularity recently for making sneakers and collectibles for the metaverse.

In a statement issued by Nike, RTFKT is described as “a leading brand that leverages cutting-edge innovation to deliver next-generation collectibles that merge culture and gaming”.

According to The Verge, RTFKT claims that in February, a collaboration with teenage artist Fewocious to sell real sneakers paired with virtual ones managed to sell some 600 pairs/NFTs in just six minutes, netting over $3.1m at the time. And TechCrunch notes that RTFKT is currently behind one of the most talked-about NFT project drops of the month – a sweeping avatar partnership with artist Takashi Murakami called CloneX, which has already seen nearly $65m in transaction volume in just three weeks.

Intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture

John Donahoe, president and CEO of Nike, Inc., states, “This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture,” says John Donahoe, president and CEO of Nike, Inc.

“We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities,” he adds.

Founded by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT is an innovative brand that Nike says redefines the boundaries of physical and digital value to serve its broad community of creators. This dedicated team leverages the latest in-game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create one-of-a-kind virtual products and experiences.

Pagotto comments, “This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love. Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse.”

The terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

TFG to beef up local manufacturing

Article by Nqobile Dludla on BizCommunity


Fashion retailer TFG wants to locally manufacture 30 million pieces of clothing a year within four years as it increasingly turns away from global supply chains, its CEO said after the company swung to a half-year headline profit.

South African retailers, some of which are still heavily reliant on offshore manufacturing, are grappling with delays in international supply chains which have been compounded by a cyber attack at freight logistics operator Transnet that brought local ports and rail to a standstill.

The owner of British womenswear brands Hobbs and Whistles and the local Foschini clothing brand has fared better than its competitors as it has been bringing production closer to home over the past five years by expanding its own factories and buying new ones.

Today, TFG sources 72% of its clothes locally, with offshore accounting for 28%, down from just over 40% four years ago, most of it from China.

Quick turnaround capabilities

TFG CEO Anthony Thunström told analysts that the 30 million units it is aiming for by the company’s 2026 financial year will be manufactured on a quick turnaround basis to improve lead times. It is also increasingly looking to extend its quick turnaround manufacturing capabilities for its non-clothing lines.

“All of these quick response advantages were clearly important in the past but never more relevant than now, Thunström said, citing disruption in far East supply chains and shipping rates up 400% from a year ago.

The clothes, homeware and jewellery retailer is planning to invest a further R575m over the next three to five years to build local manufacturing capability.

TFG swung to a headline earnings per share profit of 393.4 cents in the six months ended 30 Sept up from a loss of 83.3 cents in the same period last year, and grew sales by 51.8% to R19bn as it recovered from Covid-19 restrictions which forced store closures across its markets.

It declared an interim payout of 170 cents per share after pausing dividends last year.

‘Made in Cape Town’ movement launched to bolster economic recovery

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A number of key public, private and NPO stakeholders are joining forces to initiate a “Made in Cape Town” movement that will surface and celebrate products and services of a Cape Town origin.

The announcement of Covid-19 Alert Level One earlier this month saw local businesses breathe a little easier as doors opened wider to broader economic opportunities.

To support local businesses across the board, from one-person SMMEs to corporates, a number of key public, private and NPO stakeholders are joining forces to initiate a “Made in Cape Town” movement that will surface and celebrate products and services of a Cape Town origin.

The “Made in Cape Town” movement is managed by the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) in partnership with the City of Cape Town’s Enterprise and Investment Department. It aims to demonstrate the strength of what can be achieved when public and private entities come together to support the reopening of the economy.

A showcase of Cape Town

“The primary goal at this stage,” says Erica Elk, group CEO of the CDI, “is to unearth and showcase what Cape Town has created. And to encourage locals to support local.

“The ‘Made in Cape Town’ movement provides the CDI with an additional channel to connect local businesses with economic opportunities that will help them recover. It speaks to the objectives of several of our other projects, one being the Re:Solve Challenge which enables innovative entrepreneurs to take their first steps in prototyping new local products and services.”

Elk elaborates: “Through ‘Made in Cape Town’ we are calling on the public and local businesses to tell us what excites them about Cape Town: is it a locally made product? A food or beverage they associate with the Mother City, or an invention or company that was born here? A unique service, event or adventure? The list of possibilities is endless!”

The initiative is going public ahead of the festive season to drive interest throughout the season and beyond, with “Made in Cape Town” calling for public input via a variety of social media platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram.

“The ‘Made in Cape Town’ message amplifies the City of Cape Town’s own economic initiatives to boost the economy out of the lockdown and galvanise both local businesses and supporters within all Cape Town communities,” says Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.

“In just the past month, the City has launched a number of programmes to drive our economy. We recently announced a 200-step Inclusive Economic Growth Strategy (IEGS) to make opportunities more accessible for all who live in Cape Town and, in particular, create jobs,” says Alderman Vos. Other recent City of Cape Town initiatives have included detailed destination readiness plans which highlight how the city is preparing to safely welcome visitors over the festive season. This ties into Cape Town Tourism’s (CTT) new international “Find Your Freedom” campaign, which converts potential travellers in key source markets to actual visitors to the Mother City, and CTT’s “Captivating Cape Town” campaign showing the accessibility and affordability of Cape Town.

Supporting local businesses

According to Alderman Vos, the key objective behind these numerous initiatives is to assist the development of community tourism to support local businesses. He therefore believes that the “Made in Cape Town” movement will support these initiatives, enabling local businesses to create jobs and help to grow the economy.

“In partnership with the CDI, we are shining the spotlight on the many quality goods and services that originate in the Mother City and encouraging both locals and visitors alike to come forward to say what they love about Cape Town. This is an opportunity to endorse Cape Town as a destination and to show our love for local by buying local.”

The first private sector entity to pledge its support for the “Made in Cape Town” movement is the V&A Waterfront who, with the CDI, is currently implementing a Retail Readiness Living Lab (RRLL) programme. Supporting small creative businesses in the Watershed, RRLL provides training and mentorship to foster retail expertise and readiness as the economy reopens. Currently, craft producers located at designer/artist Heath Nash’s “Our Workshop” at the Gugu S’Thebe Centre in Langa are participating and benefitting from the opportunities being offered in the RRLL programme.

“All these speak to celebrating local products and services,” concludes Elk. “As the CDI, we are excited by the ‘Made in Cape Town’ movement because it will help, support and promote South African products and services – which is what we need to drive our recovery.”