2 of 2024


 Newsletter No 2/26 January 2024


To all manufacturers, suppliers and wholesalers:-

We are finalising the updating of our Sourcing Directory for the year.

Look under your category and see if you would rather like to update your l liner to a business listing which gives a description of your business, branches, brands, agents, more than one contact number, website information etc for a minimal fee of R1300 for the entire year and if you like you can add a logo to that for an additional R440.

Let us know if you want us to give you a call…. carla@newsbriefs.co.za


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SA online retailers gird their loins for Amazon’s arrival

by Thabiso Mochiko

Image: 123RF

Especially strong with logistics, the US e-commerce giant’s return will be a game-changer, experts say

More local companies are expected to double down on boosting their online retail platforms in anticipation of the entry of US e-commerce giant Amazon to the country in 2024.

Begun as an online bookstore, Amazon has grown into one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world, offering a wide range of products with a fast delivery time. The company has also expanded into cloud computing for businesses and video streaming.

The arrival of Amazon in South Africa was announced in October 2023, and industry experts have said the company will be especially strong on logistics. They have warned competitors to get their house in order, as the US company’s arrival is expected to be a game-changer.

One of the companies seen to be under threat is Takealot, South Africa’s biggest online retailer. The company has said it will invest heavily in its products and services to fight competition from Amazon.

In recent years, the number of e-commerce platforms aimed at providing online shopping to customers has increased. These retail sites are also giving small to medium-sized businesses better access to customers.

Digital mall

The platforms include Makro’s OneCart, which aggregates various shopping apps and is sometimes referred to as a “digital mall”, and Nedbank Avo, which features groceries, gadgets and fashion, home appliances and cars. Vodacom’s VodaPay super app also allows customers to buy a range of products — such as clothing, groceries, holidays and home appliances — online.

Divisional executive at Nedbank’s Beyond Banking platform, Vishal Maharaj

This year, Nedbank will expand Avo’s range of products and improve customer experience and logistics issues.

Vishal Maharaj, divisional executive at Nedbank’s Beyond Banking platform, said the bank would improve Avo’’s selection of categories at the “best pricing available”. The platform has “exciting plans to expand the selection of products and categories this year”.

On customer and rewards, he said: “We are doubling down on great offerings for our customer base through expanding tailored deals and rewards programmes, such as Greenbacks by Nedbank. We are also excited about the imminent launch of travel on Avo,” he said.

Maharaj said well-established global players entering the market would will help accelerate e-commerce adoption and grow the market, which is “exceptionally nascent by global standards”.

“Avo welcomes Amazon’s entry [to the market]. Competition is a wonderful accelerator for customer-oriented solutions and will contribute to the overall growth of e-commerce in SA.  Core to our differentiation is that we have the backing of Nedbank, which is a trusted brand and operator in South Africa,” he said.

This will enable Avo to engage with a wide range of partners and “allow us to develop a broader set of categories and offerings that can be tailored to customer needs”. He said: “We are not a single point of interaction, but rather we can fulfil multiple needs for a customer, who can engage in a range of transactions, from buying airtime, groceries, the latest iPhone or a Samsung TV to applying for a personal loan or booking travel.”

Maharaj said Avo’s SuperShop will focus on core areas of the business that have brought success in the last three years, but also keep working on improving user experience. Avo Solar, its one-stop shop for solar solutions, will be “an area we will focus on growing in 2024”. He added: “We want to continue providing accessible solar packages for any budget, installation by industry experts, and easy, secure financing through Nedbank.”

Anthony Thunström, CEO of TFG (The Foschini Group), said in November he thought Amazon’s presence in South Africa would accelerate digital adoption and e-commerce in the country. “The more people use digital, [the more] it will boost Bash [TFG’s e-commerce platform].”

Vodacom’s spokesperson said the company will add more e-commerce partners to VodaPay, giving customers even greater choice.

VodaPay is popular for bill payments, airtime purchases and money transfers. However, more consumers are using the app for e-commerce. “We will continue to invest in and enhance our VodaPay platform for the customers we serve. We will be investing in customer acquisition, customer retention, new services, and an enhanced customer experience,” the spokesperson said.

Vodacom’s spokesperson said VodaPay’s strength comes “from the powerful mobile base we have and the attractive telco services we continue to offer”. The spokesperson added: “We believe our strength will be the portfolio of services and the convenience of payments we offer on a single app.”

In October last year, Amazon said it would provide local sellers, brand owners, and entrepreneurs — both large and small — with the opportunity to grow their businesses on its platform. More than 60% of sales in Amazon’s store are from independent sellers, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses, It said.

OneCart’s CEO Aidan Johnson did not comment specifically on competition in the sector and the company’s plans.

He said: “Using a single shopping app to get the best prices from multiple retailers in one transaction is both more efficient and more affordable than the multiple app, multiple transaction alternative shoppers are having to use today.”  

6 fundamental principles to success in the apparel sector

Image supplied. Chief executive of buying at Ackermans, Stacey-Anne Scholtz shares six fundamental principles that have guided her career in the apparel sector

Chief executive of buying at Ackermans, Stacey-Anne Scholtz’s journey in the apparel sector, which started as a casual employee folding clothes at Mr Price, is a lesson in hard work and determination.

Scholtz says being a casual at Mr Price inspired her to pursue a degree in Retail Business Management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

“Here I learnt very early on about the importance of working hard and making my voice heard as a woman in business,” says Scholtz.

During her studies, she was selected for an in-service programme at Harrods in the UK. “This experience broadened my horizons and further fuelled my determination to create a better life for myself and my family.”

Starting her career she worked long hours, late shifts, and every public holiday imaginable. She progressed from trainee store manager in Clicks to an office role.

But the pivotal moment came when she moved to Johannesburg to take on a buyer assistant role in the apparel industry, which she took on despite warnings from others.

“I intentionally diversified my experience, moving across different retailers, aiming to polish my skills and broaden my exposure in the industry to grow as a professional.”

Throughout this, her focus has remained on self-improvement and competing only with herself. This journey led her to her first executive role at Woolworths at the age of 35 which led her to her current role as chief executive of buying at Ackermans.

6 fundamental principles

There are six fundamental principles that Scholtz accredits to having guided her in life and her career:

  1. Luck favours the prepared

Always be prepared and have a vision for yourself. Actively seek out and create opportunities. You can never overprepare, only over present.

  1. Be willing to put in the hours

Regardless of your path, success requires arduous work. You cannot excel without putting in the necessary effort and dedication.

  1. Believe in yourself and build your brand

Be courageous, and confident, and have a unique point of view. Your actions contribute to your brand – be aware of your choices. Life is about perspective and focus. What anchors me are my faith, family, and a supportive husband. Remember, when you secure a seat at the table, use it well. Find a prominent spot and never stop challenging the perceived ceiling.

  1. Working in corporate is a team sport

Collaboration is key. Connect with people, expose yourself to decision-makers, and embrace constructive criticism for self-improvement.

  1. Surround yourself with inspiring people

Build a supportive network. Learning never stops, and having experienced mentors can provide valuable perspectives, especially in a political corporate environment.

  1. The only limitations are the ones we place on ourselves

Believe in your value, challenge limitations, and don’t make excuses. If an environment stifles your growth, consider seeking a new one. Being a female executive in a male-dominated environment requires resilience, confidence, and a willingness to take calculated risks.

“Being a woman is not a disadvantage, it is a strength because diverse leadership enhances corporate performance.

“What I have learnt about success as a woman is that self-belief and confidence are important. Keep your focus, work hard, and confidently take your seat at the table,” adds Scholtz.

Gender-diverse companies

Gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to outperform their counterparts in terms of profitability. This is due largely to the fact that companies with diverse leadership, including women, tend to be more innovative*.

Companies with more than 30% women executives are also more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10 to 30*.

Still a challenge for women leaders

Women leaders often exhibit stronger interpersonal skills, fostering a positive work environment. Companies benefit from having women in leadership roles when operating in diverse global markets as they bring cultural sensitivity and a global perspective to decision-making that helps organisations navigate international business complexities.

However, entering these roles can still be a challenge for many women. This is especially true in an industry such as apparel retail, which requires a keen understanding of market trends, consumer preferences and effective negotiation skills to obtain the best possible deals.    Bizcommunity

Compliance focus for transfer pricing adjustments


Tshwane, Friday 19 January 2024 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has today published draft rule amendments for public comment with the view to facilitate transfer pricing adjustments.

The rule amendments under the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, (Act No91 of 1964) will provide clarity and certainty for multi-national enterprises on how to account for their transfer pricing adjustments on previous Customs declarations. This will ensure that they are compliant with their Customs obligations.

Price fluctuations of goods and services delivered by multinationals have a knock-on effect and impact the profits and, as a result, the tax liability of the multinationals. It is then the obligation of the multinational to adjust the transfer pricing payment retrospectively to ensure compliance.

The draft amendments have been published (is there a link) on the SARS website for public comment and announced on SARS social media. The Customs community is requested to participate in the process.

“This is another step to make it easy and simple for taxpayers and traders to comply voluntarily with their obligations,” said SARS Commissioner Mr Edward Kieswetter.

“Legislation allows the organisation to outline the rules and procedures that promote compliance in unambiguous terms and strengthen the tax and Customs eco-system that affects our stakeholders, nationally and internationally.”

For further information, please contact SARSMedia@sars.gov.za

TFG – trading update

This trading update relates to the nine-month year-to-date period from 1 April 2023 to 30 December 2023 and the 13-week period from 1 October 2023 to 30 December 2023 (Q3 FY2024) against the comparative nine-month year-to-date period from 1 April 2022 to 31 December 2022 and the 13-week period from 2 October 2022 to 31 December 2022 (Q3 FY2023).

Salient features

*Group turnover for Q3 FY2024 grew 4.5% on Q3 FY2023, and 9.0% for the nine months ended 30 December 2023;

*TFG Africa turnover grew 5.1% in Q3 FY2024, with like-for-like turnover growth of 0.7%; Turnover for the month of December grew 11.8% (like-forlike 6.1%), with the highest full-price contribution for the year to date;

*TFG Africa’s cash turnover grew 6.6% in Q3 FY2024. Cash turnover for the quarter now comprises 75.8% of TFG Africa turnover and 82.4% of Group turnover;

*TFG London turnover declined 3.0% (GBP) in Q3 FY2024 off a strong post-COVID-19 recovery base in Q3 FY2023;

*TFG Australia turnover declined 7.3% (AUD) in Q3 FY2024, also off a strong post-COVID-19 recovery base; and

*Group online turnover grew 29.2% in Q3 FY2024, contributing 9.1% (Q3 FY2023: 7.4%) to total Group turnover for the quarter. TFG Africa online turnover grew 44.8% in Q3 FY2024, contributing 4.2% of total TFG Africa turnover (Q3 FY2023: 3.0%)

Woolworths – trading update and trading statement

The Group’s turnover and concession sales from continuing operations (i.e. excluding David Jones, which was disposed of in the prior year) for the 26 weeks ended 24 December 2023 (‘current period’ or ‘period’), increased by 5.4%, and by 4.4% in constant currency terms. This should be considered in the context of the high prior period base, in which sales from continuing operations grew by 12.5%, driven in part by the post-Covid pent-up demand in Australia. During the last six weeks of the period, which included trade during the key festive season, sales growth accelerated to 7.2%, supported by our robust trade plans.

Trading statement

Given the inclusion of the David Jones contribution in the prior period, our group results to be reported for the first half of the 2024 financial year are not directly comparable to that of the prior period.

December 2023 expected range (%); December 2023 expected range Total Group (cents)

EPS: -25.0% to -35.0%; 190.9 to 220.3

HEPS: -25.0% to -35.0%; 191.4 to 220.9

The Group’s results for the interim period are expected to be released on or about 28 February 2024.

Pepkor – AGM notice and integrated report

The following reports will also be available on the Company’s website as from today, Friday, 19 January 2024:
1. the Notice of AGM, incorporating the Summarised Financial Statements (www.pepkor.co.za/investor-relations/shareholder-diary-meetings-and- notices/); and
2. the Integrated Report (www.pepkor.co.za/investor-relations/integrated-report/).

Notice of AGM
Notice is hereby given that the annual general meeting of Shareholders (“AGM”) will be conducted entirely by electronic communication at 09:00 on Thursday, 7 March 2024, to transact the business as set out in the Notice of AGM.

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act: Annual compliance report
The Company’s annual compliance reports, together with the Company’s latest broad-based black economic empowerment certificate, available on the Company’s website at www.pepkor.co.za/corporate-governance/documents-and-policies/.

Pepkor – retirement of non-executive director

Mr Theodore de Klerk will retire from the board and consequently from the investment committee at the company’s annual general meeting on 7 March 2024. In terms of the company’s Memorandum of Incorporation, Theodore is due to retire from the Pepkor board by rotation at the AGM

The skirt is the second oldest piece of clothing, outdated only by the loincloth.


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