2 of 2023

                              Newsletter No 2/20 January 2023                              


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Black Friday deals boost November retail sales

People queue outside Baywest Mall Checkers during Black Friday n Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape. File photo: Brian Hayward

Economists caution that the outlook for 2023 is subdued, thanks to persistent load-shedding and high interest rates

SA retail sales improved on a monthly and an annual basis in November, driven mainly by Black Friday sales, according to data published by Stats SA on Wednesday.

The 0.4% year-on-year increase came despite persistent electricity outages and defied forecasts of a 0.2% contraction by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The latest reading follows two straight months of declines, with the household furniture, appliances and equipment and textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods categories all posting growth.

On a monthly basis, retail trade increased by 1.1% the most in 10 months, after a downwardly revised gain in the prior month

Although retail spending surprised on the upside in November, shopping activity has struggled to gain momentum over the past 11 months.

Since the beginning of 2022 spending has declined by a monthly average of 0.1% and is 1.4% below the level of retail activity that prevailed one month before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In other words, the retail sector has stagnated for the past 3 years,” said Stanlib chief economist Kevin Lings. “Furthermore, retail spending will struggle to gain momentum over the coming months given the persistent high inflation rate, declining real income growth, further interest rate hikes, weak consumer confidence and a weak labour market”.

Lings said consumer spending at the start of 2023 points it remaining relatively subdued when compared with previous years and certainly below the level that would encourage an expansion of employment.

“Ultimately, without a meaningful and sustained increase in SA’s overall level of fixed investment and employment — and by implication a more persistent and reliable electricity supply, as well as consequent rise in household disposable income — SA retail sales activity will struggle to reflect outright vibrancy or sustain a more vigorous rate of expansion,” Lings said.

Investec economist Lara Hodes had expected retail sales to increased 1.6% in November on an annual basis thanks to Black Friday, as constrained consumers took advantage of discounted goods and service offerings.  BL

China largest market for South Africa’s fibre exports in Jan-Sept 2022

China was the largest market for South Africa’s fibre exports during January-September 2022 with a share of 36.32 per cent. It exported fibre worth $103.848 million out of its total shipment of $285.924 million in the period. Africa is developing its domestic textile industry, but China is a vast market to sell extra fibre, specifically cotton stocks.

Despite being the largest market, African exports to China has witnessed high volatility. South Africa’s exports to China fell by 45.69 per cent year on year to $103.848 million in January-September 2022 from $191.218 million in the same period of last year, according to Fibre2Fashion’s market insight tool Texpro. The exports jumped by 36.27 per cent from the exports in January-September 2020.

The exports had increased by 28.1 per cent to reach $212.977 million in January-September 2018 but decreased by 58.75 per cent to $87.846 million in January-September 2019. They spurted again by 59.21 per cent to reach $139.859 million in January-September 2020, as per TexPro.    F2F

Priestess of Punk, Vivienne Westwood dies

Source: © Creator Sakib British designer Vivienne Westwood has died aged 81

Known as the priestess of Punk, Westwood pioneered the punk look in mid-1970s London, leaving a lasting impact on fashion and wider culture reports Business of Fashion.

Lifestyle Inquire says: “Westwood made provocation itself into an art form — from the leather bondage gear she popularised in the 1970s to the time she went without underwear to Buckingham Palace to receive her damehood from the queen.”

The Britich self-taught designer also created designs based on the ideas of Malcolm McLaren, the manager of pop rock band Sex Pistols, who she formed a professional partnership with early in her career.

Her rebellious nature also inspired her designs, which often subverted society’s expectations and included plaid patterns and safety pin embellishments.

The designer’s fashion label posted on Twitter that she died peacefully surrounded by her family.

In a statement quoted by the PA news agency, her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said: “We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you darling.”

Her desire to make the world a better place led to her activism as she lobbied for environmental reforms and created the Climate Revolution in 2012.

Westwood sent a bare-breasted Kate Moss down the runway munching on ice cream, and almost broke Naomi Campbell’s ankle when the supermodel failed to stay upright on a pair of her nine-inch platform heels.

Steinhoff – placement of shares in Pepco Group

Steinhoff announced that the Steinhoff Group has decided to launch an accelerated placement of ordinary shares in Pepco Group N.V. which are held through IBEX Retail Investments (Europe) Ltd., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. The Steinhoff Group intends to sell approximately 34.5 million ordinary shares in the capital of Pepco Group, through a placement to institutional investors. The Placement Shares represent up to 6% of Pepco Group’s issued share capital, subject to the final terms of the Placement.

The price per Placement Share will be determined by way of an accelerated bookbuilding process to institutional investors. The Steinhoff Group intends to use the proceeds from the Placement to reduce its outstanding debt. Pepco Group will not receive any proceeds from the Placement.

Fast Fashion Facts You Might Not Know

The Target Audience for Fast Fashion Retailers Is Largely Consumers Aged 18 to 24 

A 2016 study found that brands consciously target young consumers, often students with low incomes, with females of this age group found to shop in fast fashion retailers more than any other demographic groups. Not surprisingly, cheap prices and trendy styles are the key attractions for such audiences. In fact, the authors of the study argue that young consumers are usually more willing to sacrifice premium quality for a lower price and more variety.


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