33 of 2023

Newsletter No 33/25 August 2023                              


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China, S Africa to consider working within BRI, ERRP frameworks

23 Aug. – China and South Africa will consider working towards bilateral cooperation and synergy within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) frameworks.

This was announced in a joint statement after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited South Africa yesterday to discuss with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa bilateral relations, China-Africa cooperation, and regional and international affairs of mutual interest.

Both sides pledged to continue to seek the strengthening of cooperation in key areas like infrastructure and logistics; trade and investment; manufacturing; agro-processing; energy and resources; the financial sector; the digital economy; science and technology, and green development.

The two sides undertook to strengthen their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership henceforth, actively build a quality China-South Africa community, and play a meaningful, joint role in China-Africa relations and South-South cooperation, the joint statement said.

South Africa pledged continuous support for China on issues concerning its core interests and major concerns and reaffirmed its commitment to the one-China policy.

The two sides agreed to improve the current trade structure, address market access, enhance two-way investment, and keep industrial and supply chains stable and secure.

China expressed its support for the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the African integration process, as well as the efforts of African countries and regional organisations under the auspices of the African Union (AU) to provide continental solutions to African problems.  F2F

Woolworths earnings to rise as it sheds David Jones

By Katharine Child

Woolworths’ sale of Australian department store David Jones will give the retailer an earnings bump. Picture: FILE

Woolworths headline earnings will be at least 25% higher for its year to June 25 as it sold struggling Australian department store David Jones during the period.

The 2023 financial year figures include David Jones earnings for nine months compared to a period for 12 months.

Woolworths sold David Jones for an undisclosed minor sum, that the retailer’s CEO Roy Bagattini had promised to disclose when the sale is complete.

The headline earnings will be 25.0%-35.0% higher at 498.6c-538.5c.

JSE-listing rules require companies to tell the market as soon as it know earnings will be at least 20% higher or lower than the prior period.

Under CEO Bagattini and clothing head Manie Maritz, its fashion, beauty and home business has also begun to turn around with more full price sales and fewer promotions

Its food business has among the highest operating profit of all the retailers globally at about 7%, even as it cuts prices of chicken and some goods to attract constrained consumers. 

Young talents revamp PnP Clothing range

By Thabiso Mochiko

Clothing business has been recording strong growth due to the popularity of quality day-to-day basic items

Pick n Pay Clothing is adding fresh looks at its stores with a new summer range designed by young creators as it evolves from its origins of leggings and basic T-shirts. It will also revamp its flagship stores with a more extensive range.

A unit of JSE-listed food retailer Pick n Pay, the clothing business has been recording strong growth due to the popularity of its quality day-to-day basic items. Since 2020 it has launched curated collections by upcoming designers, at accessible prices.

On Thursday it unveiled a new range by designers Thando Ntuli and Kiav Mitoo as part of its Futurewear programme which was launched three years ago and seeks to create on-trend limited ranges for customers.

Hazel Pillay, general manager of Pick n Pay Clothing, says the Futurewear initiative is part of the company’s commitment to making fashion accessible to all. “Working with young, fresh talent who have their fingers on the pulse of trends as they translate them into affordable designs for our shelves has been exciting.”

The company has partnered with fashion designer Gavin Rajah who mentors young designers to create household labels they can commercially sell. So far, 10 limited collections have launched with four more, including those of Rajah and Cinani Nhlapo, launching in the next three months.

“Working under Gavin has given us a better understanding of the fashion industry and growing a business while building a brand around yourself,” says Ntuli.

Ntuli has shown her designs in Nigeria, Kenya and Germany and started her fashion brand in 2019. Mitoo, a graphic designer, will launch his own T-shirt range.

Ntuli and Mitoo’s new ranges will be available in 40 stores and online, said Pillay.

Pillay says every year the company receives around 100 applications from creatives, including students, graduates and people who have only matric and no experience in the fashion industry “but just raw talent”.

“We are working with emerging designers to harness their personal and unique styles to create on-trend ranges for our customers, perfectly suited to a season.”

Designers will receive mentorship to help them understand the complexities of garment production, sourcing, sustainability and the need to drive a circular economy.

“Mentorship helps our future designers develop a knowledge base to make informed decisions and develop a career trajectory. It’s imperative for individuals at the beginning of their careers — it is as important during their career path. It provides a professional infrastructure to rely on and is integral to the emotional support individuals need,” says Rajah.

Pillay says the company is not introducing new design wear regularly as “we are creating exclusive designer ranges … if you end up doing too many in one go it is not as exclusive”.

He said the aim was to build anticipation and ensure products are in demand and sell out fast. “If you have it every day it loses its philosophy.”

Euromonitor research analyst Kauthar Jakoet previously said Pick n Pay’s decision to avoid excessive fashion trends is catering to the future generation of consumers. “Taking such a focused approach is in line with Gen Z’s desire for simplicity, sustainability and a less trend-driven approach to fashion,” said Jakoet.

Pick n Pay has shifted from being a strong ladieswear retailer into a family retailer with an emphasis on kids’ wear and men’s wear to strengthen its proposition in the value market. It has since expanded its shirts and pants range for men to cater for the demand for affordable workwear.

Pick n Pay Clothing is available in 21 hypermarkets, 149 supermarkets and 333 stand-alone stores. It aims to open 60 stores in the 2024 financial year. So far it has opened 20.

On Thursday, the company reopened its revamped Sandton City store, one of three flagship stores. The other two that will be refurbished are in Gateway, KwaZulu-Natal, and Canal Walk, Cape Town, to give them an upmarket store design, with more space to accommodate a more extensive range than the other stores.  

Woolies – trading statement

The Group advised that EPS, HEPS and adHEPS for the Total Group for the 52 weeks ended 25 June 2023 (‘current year’) are expected to be within the ranges reflected below.

*EPS: 30.0% to 40.0%; 503.6c to 542.4c
*HEPS: 25.0% to 35.0%; 498.6c to 538.5c
*adHEPS: 30.0% to 40.0%; 487.4c to 524.9c

Skirts and dresses (or kilts and tunics) are the oldest form of clothing of all because they’re the easiest to make, and both sexes wore them.


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