What to expect from ‘Edgars 2.0’

South African retailer Retailability plans to reposition Edgars as a mass-market brand, catering fashion and beauty products, says chief executive Norman Drieselmann.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Drieselmann said the company also plans to exit from its homeware division.

Last week retail group Edcon finalised the sale of parts of Edgars to Retailability, with all approvals from regulatory authorities and all conditions precedent either fulfilled or waived.

The deal will see Retailability close a deal to acquire 130 out of 194 stores of the 91-year old icon of South African high street.

“For us a big focus in repositioning the Edgars brand is bring it back to the mass market South African space,” Drieselmann said.

“My personal view is that the Edgars business started shifting too niche and ultimately it took the big box retailer further and further away from the average South African.”

Drieselmann said that the new strategy will entail ‘getting the right balance’ between private labels and international brands that have recognition to the local market and have the right value proposition.

“We really want to narrow our focus and so let’s do what we do well,” Drieselmann said, adding that the Retailability’s competence lies in the fashion space and he will exit Edgars homeware business.

The store also plans to relaunch its e-commerce website by the end of October and restructure its back office, he said.

Over 5,000 jobs saved 

Retailability is a fashion retailer and a holding company of store brands including Legit, Beaver Canoe and Style, operates in over 460 stores across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, and eSwatini.

The group said that it aims to ensure that ongoing operational business is its top priority, while integration work is moving ahead vigorously.

“We are pleased that we were able to close the transaction within two months after the announcement. The closure of the transaction underlines the industry fit and the excellent compatibility between Edgars and Retailability’s strategic intent, infrastructure, and value chain,” Edcon’s BRPs said.

“We are pleased by the significant saving of approximately 5,200 jobs as well as the continued commitment to the retail industry, economy, and the sustainability of the South African Edgars brand.”

The finalisation of the sale in South Africa indicates the achievement of a critical milestone in the Edcon business rescue plan, the BRPs said.

“The parties will continue to co-operate and work towards concluding the sale of Edgars’ businesses in other various jurisdictions in Africa – namely Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho and Namibia – where various regulatory approvals and conditions precedent remain outstanding.”


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