35 of 2020

                                                              Newsletter No. 35 / 18 September 2020                            

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Govt wants to accelerate localisation plan for textiles, footwear

By Irma Venter

Stakeholders in the clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) industry have committed to working more closely together to identify opportunities to deepen localisation and bolster production in the sector.

This was a key outcome of a meeting of the executive oversight committee (EOC) managing the implementation of the masterplan for the sector earlier this month.

The virtual meeting, chaired and hosted by Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel and attended by other EOC members, including the CEOs of major apparel and textile retailers, manufacturers and organised labour, discussed plans to accelerate bringing back more local apparel and textile production to South Africa.

Retail CEOs present included Foschini Group boss and National Clothing Retail Federation chairperson Anthony Thunström, Woolworths South Africa CEO Zyda Ryland, Pepkor CEO Leon Lourens, Mr Price CEO Mark Blair and Truworths CEO Michael Mark.

Minister Patel was accompanied by South African Revenue Service Commissioner Edward Kieswetter and International Trade Administration Commission of Sout Africa chief commissioner Meluleki Nzimande. Proudly South Africa CEO Eustace Mashimbye was also in attendance.

The CTFL sector has been negatively impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown.

Sales in the first half of the year fell 20%, adjusted for inflation, compared with the equivalent period last year, while production volumes declined by 30%.

Despite this, stakeholders expressed optimism for the remainder of the year, as they accelerate work to increase the levels of locally made clothing sold in South African retail stores.

The CTFL masterplan, which was signed by stakeholders in November last year, provides a blueprint for investment and job creation through localisation in the industry.

The plan includes a commitment to increase the proportion of locally produced fashion sold in retail stores from 44% currently, to 65% by 2030.

The commitment is expected to increase employment in the sector by another 120 000 jobs across the value chain.

During the meeting held this month, stakeholders reported on activity since the signing of the masterplan, and discussed the immediate steps that can be taken to increase the pace at which the industry achieves its localisation goals.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has made the argument for localisation even more urgent and important,” said Patel.

“The key issue for our economy now is the return of domestic demand.  We need to stimulate the economy via deeper localisation efforts.”

“We are now at the stage where we absolutely have to focus – for both the good of our industry and for the South African economy and our future,” added Thunström.  EN

The Durban Fashion Fair show goes ON!

By Steven J Brown

When it comes to eThekwini’s eagerly anticipated annual Durban Fashion Fair (#DFF2020), the show will definitely go on!

This despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 outbreak. EThekwini Mayor, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said the theme for #DFF2020 is “The Show Must Go On!” but within Covid-19 regulations. According to him, providing empowerment opportunities is crucial to ensure sustainability of businesses. “The DFF is one of the platforms to be used to assist in the City’s economic recovery efforts.”

The DFF is hosted annually to promote and market local designers’ brands. This year, the fashion showcase will be converting into a virtual event in response to Covid-19 social distancing regulations.

In addition to its fashion focus, it will have a strong business focus and run along with the Durban Business Fair.  Some of the shows will be filmed at City Hall, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Botanic Gardens, the New Promenade and Max’s Lifestyle and can be viewed online between September 23 and 25.

This is particularly significant as September is not only regarded as Tourism Month but also as Heritage Month.

“Celebrating Heritage Day on September 24 through the creativity of both our emerging and established designers, is a reflection of the legacy of African fashion that we have been growing passionately through the platform of the DFF over the past nine years, is particularly symbolic,” said Kaunda.

This year’s #DFF2020 will showcase the work of over 25 designers.

The mentorship programme will assist aspiring new designers to hone their talents and build potential fashion businesses as well as the model boot camps, which prepares new faces before they take to the DFF catwalk. These hopefuls will be taught all things “model etiquette” and ultimately build careers for themselves in the world of modelling will be taking place for the remainder of this year.

Mayor Kaunda said these had been central to the empowerment ethos of the DFF since it was launched in 2012 and provided important platforms for the youth to explore career and business opportunities. “However, due to calendar changes following lockdown, the mentees and the new faces, as well as the viewing public can look forward to seeing them in action featuring their own fashion showcase early December.”

Follow us on the Facebook page: Durban Fashion Fair or on Twitter / Instagram @Dbnfashion_fair to find out how to tune into our #DFF2020 virtual showcase from September 23-25!

Fedisa Fashion School

By Ricci Kalish

My first connection with Fedisa happened during a webinar I held for their students, discussing all things blogging, fashion and South Africa. I received such a warm welcome from lecturers and students alike, I immediately fell head over heels in love with this school. Needing to know more I visited their Joburg campus and was in for a world of surprise.

Entering the Fedisa campus is a lesson in fashion education. I was granted a private tour with founder and CEO Mr Allen Leroux and head lecturer, Margaret Olwoch. Their warmth surpassed my wildest expectations, their passion for Fedisa and their students shone through in every word they spoke. This state-of-the-art campus is a dream for any fashion student. From their ultra-modern design studios to a fully equipped Mac Lab allowing students to access full Adobe creative suite and WGSN, the students want for nothing. Besides all the practical things, the campus is brimming with the beautiful. South African art adorns the halls, corners festooned with designer furniture, and at every turn is a mannequin draped in student’s final designs. This is a campus proud of their work and their students.

Fedisa has not only produced top pattern-makers and seamstresses but designers that have gone on to work with brands such as Marchesa, Diane von Furstenberg, Christopher Kane and Haikure. Many students have entered the world of styling, visual merchandising and buying while others have built their very own fashion brand. It’s Fedisa’s holistic approach to fashion that has allowed students to enter every corner of the fashion industry. They don’t just stop at design but encourage students to figure out their fashion-niche.

You have several courses to choose from. 

The 3-year Diploma focuses on fashion merchandising, marketing and media. The Diploma offers academically coherent, challenging and up-to-date learning opportunities, which encourage students to develop as independent and self-reliant thinkers.

The BA Degree in Fashion is designed for the creative business-minded person, who has a flair for fashion, style and all aspects influencing the world of fashion. From courses in prevailing trends, cultural influences, production technology and sound business practice. The BA Degree also emphasizes the creative and technical skills of design and clothing technology.

Fedisa’s Bachelor of Arts Honours facilitates academic discourse around theories and concepts relating to political, economic, societal, psychosocial, technological, legal and environmental issues on contemporary and future fashion shifts. Emphasis is placed on the research and analytical development of the candidate, as well as the business acumen to successfully integrate new concepts into the established commercial sectors of the fashion and design economies.

It’s Fedisa’s insatiable need to educate their students on all things fashion that has solidified their spot as South Africa’s leading institute for a qualification in fashion. Their strong industry support is seen in their ongoing collaborations with fashion houses such as TFG, Cape Union Mart, Markham and Truworths to name but a few. These collaborations have also resulted in bursary programs, making sure that students from all backgrounds get an opportunity to attend this world-class school.

From Industry Month to the Fedisa Fashion Flash and Graduate Weekend, students are given several exciting platforms to learn from and showcase their work. Witnessing, first hand the student’s passion for their work, and knowledge it is clear to me, and many, that Fedisa is a shining beacon of light within South Africa’s small but proud fashion industry.

Open Day is taking place this Saturday, September 12 from 10.00 am-12.30 pm. Masks are essential.

Fore more information please visit www.fedisa.co.za

TFG – 22 week trading update

This trading update should be read in conjunction with the trading updates published on SENS on 15 May 2020, 18 June 2020 and 13 July 2020. These updates provide further background with regard to store closures and store re-openings in the Group’s three main territories due to government-enforced lockdowns because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Group
Trading conditions across all three of the Group’s major territories, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia, continue to be challenging. With all three of these territories in economic recession following the effects of COVID-19, consumer spending has been under significant pressure, exacerbated by further job losses and social distancing rules. In South Africa, continued electricity load shedding has further impacted on the country’s economy (approximately 15 000 trading hours have been lost to load shedding during the months of May to August). In Australia, trade has been impacted by the re-introduction of lockdown measures in certain of the states. The UK stores started re- opening from mid-June, with a very slow ramp up as the social distancing rules and European restrictions remain largely in force.

Against this backdrop, the Group’s retail turnover for the 22 weeks ended 29 August 2020 declined by 29.7% compared to the same period in the previous financial year. Customers continue to prefer online shopping with growth in e-commerce turnover for the Group of 29.7% for the 22 weeks compared to the same period in the previous financial year.

TFG Africa
TFG Africa’s retail turnover for the 22 weeks ended 29 August 2020 declined 26.4% compared to the same period in the previous financial year. While trade has improved in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions, it remains volatile. Homewares and cellphones, comprising nearly 23% of TFG Africa’s retail turnover, have however consistently showed turnover growth since the re-opening of stores on 1 May 2020. Online turnover, comprising 4.5% of TFG Africa’s turnover, continues to exceed management’s expectation with growth in excess of 100%, for the 22 weeks compared to the same period in the previous financial year.

Cash retail turnover for the 22 weeks ended 29 August 2020 declined 18.0% compared to the same period in the previous financial year. Merchandise deflation for the same period was 3.7%.

TFG Africa credit
TFG continues to deliberately maintain a significantly restricted credit appetite, with accept rates falling further down to below 15%. This policy is expected to remain in place while the macro economic conditions remain negative. As a result, credit retail turnover for the 22 weeks ended 29 August 2020 has contracted by 37,9% for the first 5 months compared to the same period in the previous financial year.

Following the reopening of our stores, cash collections continue to be ahead of management’s expectation; however they are still below pre-pandemic levels.

TFG London
TFG London’s pound sterling-denominated retail turnover for the 22 weeks ended 29 August 2020 declined 58.1% compared to the same period in the previous financial year. UK stores began to gradually re-open from June 15th following government guidelines. However, at the end of August, nearly all central London stores remained closed given the very significantly reduced footfall, which largely relies on tourists and office workers. It remains unclear as to when the majority of our UK consumers will return to working from their offices or attending social events, both of which have a direct bearing on the demand for our UK brands. Online turnover from TFG London’s own branded websites however increased by 11.9% for the 22-week period compared to the same period in the previous financial year.

TFG Australia
TFG Australia’s Australian dollar-denominated retail turnover for the 22 weeks ended 29 August 2020 declined 28.3% compared to the same period in the previous financial year. E-commerce turnover growth for the period was strong at 68.2% compared to the same 22 weeks in the previous financial year.

All stores were closed on 27 March 2020 in response to COVID- 19 Government restrictions and regulations on social distancing. The re-opening of stores commenced end April, and all stores across Australia and New Zealand were reopened by the end of May.

Trade in this business segment has continued to be impacted by individual states having different levels of restrictions based on the number of active COVID-19 cases.

During August, Government restrictions resulted in store closures in both New Zealand and Victoria. New Zealand had 17 stores closed for 2 weeks, however these have subsequently re- opened. Victoria has had 84 stores closed from 2 August. These stores remain closed and the Victoria State Government anticipates lifting the lockdown regulations by the end of October.

Strategic initiatives in dealing with COVID-19
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains dynamic and continues to evolve at different stages throughout the different jurisdictions within which we operate. We are adapting our business as effectively as possible to deal with the dynamic environment within which we operate and continue to make significant progress in respect of our cost saving initiatives through our previously announced Business Optimisation project. As previously announced, we have continued to access Government funding, where available to us, in each of our territories of operation.

The successfully concluded rights offer will insulate the balance sheet during this time of global economic uncertainty and allow us to further execute on the company’s growth strategy and vision for the future.

Trading statement
As per paragraph 3.4(b)of the JSE Ltd. Listings Requirements, shareholders are advised that the Group’s interim financial results for the six months ending 30 September 2020 are likely to be at least 20% lower than those reported for the six months ended 30 September 2019, as follows:
Expected minimum difference 6 months ended 30 September 2020 – Cents
*Basic earnings per ordinary share: -106.7
*Basic headline earnings per ordinary share: -105.3
*Diluted earnings per ordinary share: -106.1
*Diluted headline earnings per ordinary share: -104.8

Further guidance will be provided when management has a reasonable degree of certainty over the expected earnings numbers and prior to the release of the interim financial results ending 30 September 2020, which is expected to be on or about 5 November 2020.

The forecast financial information on which this trading update and trading statement is based has not been reviewed and reported on by the company’s external auditors.

Did you know……..

The Colour Purple

Purple has long been a colour associated with royalty and the upper classes since the Roman and Byzantine empires. Tyrian purple dye, made from murex sea snails, turns fabric a gorgeous and brilliant shade of purple, and does not fade (in fact, the colour can even intensify with wear and age). The dye was extremely expensive, so was only available to those with wealth.

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