39 of 2019

           Newsletter No. 39                                                    11 October 2019


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Steinhoff changes Pepkor Europe’s name

Steinhoff announced on Monday that Pepkor Europe has been renamed to Pepco Group.

Steinhoff said the name change will link the business directly to Pepco, which has more than 1 600 stores in Central and Eastern Europe. Pepco provides cut-price clothes, shoes, and household goods in Poland, Romania, and Hungary.

Pepkor Europe also includes the UK chain Poundland, which famously sells branded products for a pound, and Dealz, which does business in Ireland, Poland and Spain.

Steinhoff bought Pepkor, which included what was to become Pepco and Poundland, in 2015.

Sales at Pepkor Europe rose by 13% to €2.6bn for the nine months to end June, compared to the same period in 2018.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that Steinhoff is considering an initial public offering of Pepkor Europe in London, and perhaps Warsaw.

Steinhoff is looking at ways to raise more cash as it struggles with a massive debt burden of more than €9.09bn (R150bn – or more than 30 times its current market value on the JSE).

“This change to Pepco Group marks the culmination of a year of significant development and growth. The group has successfully completed a long-term €475m refinancing package, strengthened the management team through a number of senior appointments and continued to perform strongly,” Steinhoff said in a statement.  Fin24

What to expect from SA Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2020

The South African Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2020 Collections and Trade Show will be held at the Protea Court Rooftop of Sandton City in Johannesburg from 23 to 26 October 2019.

Now in its 36th season, the country’s designer showcase recently announced its commitment to a five-year plan to spearhead the development of an ecologically-based and sustainable local design culture by 2025.

This season’s event will see 39 designers show collections, either on the ramp or as installations, with many, including the participants in the New Talent, Cape Wools & Mohair SA Designer Challenge as well as the SA Fashion Week Student competitions, already incorporating a strong sustainability ethos in their design philosophy.

Two days each will be designated to women’s and menswear, respectively. It will again, too, host the SAFW Trade Show with 80 designers representing men’s and womenswear, millinery, accessories, shoes, bags and jewellery.

Now in its ninth year, the wholesale trade show has become the go-to place for sourcing uniquely new creativity for many independent boutiques and departmental stores from South Africa, the African continent, Europe, Japan and North America.

The Student Competition installation featuring the designs of final year students from 32 design schools across the country will also be featured in the foyer for the duration of the event.

For the full lineup, click here.  Bizcommunity

Woolworths CEO receives R190m since disastrous deal Down Under

Despite spearheading an ill-fated foray into Australia, Woolworths CEO Ian Moir pocketed R23m in the past year. This brings his total earnings over the past five years to R191m.

The past year’s remuneration is R7m less than the previous year, and he didn’t receive a performance bonus as lower sales and profits from its Australian department store chain David Jones continued to hurt the group.

Despite a strong local performance from Woolworths, group headline earnings fell almost 5% for the year to end-June – due to David Jones.

Moir was appointed CEO of Woolworths in 2010 and championed the acquisition of the Australian department store in 2014 for R21.5bn. But the group has since been forced to write down more than R6bn of the acquisition’s value. Continued investment in the underperforming David Jones has also increased the debt burden on the local company.

In its annual report, released on Monday, Woolworths said the performance of David Jones had been disappointing due to the “poor execution of key initiatives” and the costs and significant disruption from a Sydney store refurbishment. In addition, customers are increasingly shopping online, leading to reduced footfall in shopping centres.

In an interview with Bloomberg in August, Moir admitted that he may have gotten it wrong. “I regret the price, and buying it at that time – hindsight is a wonderful thing – but I think we have a great asset now.”

In the five years since the takeover, he earned total remuneration of more than R191m, following sizable payments in 2015 (R49m), 2016 (R53.8) 2017 (R34.7m), 2018 (R30.6m) and 2019 (R23m).

Last year, Woolworths’ Australian CEO John Dixon was made redundant, but the company’s annual report shows he still earned R19.7m before he went.

While Woolworths represents almost two-thirds of the group’s revenue, Moir will now be based in Australia to oversee the turnaround of David Jones.

The CEO of Woolworths South Africa, Zyda Rylands, was paid R12m over the past year, up from R8m in the previous year.

Woolworths food sales grew by almost 8% over the past year, and, in a surprising turnaround, it also saw a strong 8% increase in sales of its clothing over the past six months. This was thanks to a focus on core ranges and basics, backed by improved availability, the company said.  Fin24

Did you know……..

1934 Fashion: What did people wear?

Padded shoulders were even more pronounced in 1934. The “little black dress” is the new evening style, but some women loved to express themselves in loud-colored long dinner suits.

Hot colors combos in 1934 are brown & pink, and prune & turquoise. Women still loved gloves and silver fox broadtail.

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