Truworths aiming at one stop clothing emporium
Fin24 - Jan 12th 2015, 10:26
Cape Town - After building up its women's wear and men's wear in-store emporiums with its own brands, Truworths is setting its focus to conquering the children's wear market, according to CEO Michael Mark.
Earlier it has been reported that Truworths has entered agreements to buy the local children's clothing brands Naartjie and Earthchild.
Mark told Fin24 that the deals have not been finalised, only in the sense that it still needs to go through regulatory approval. All the contracts for the deals have, however, already been signed and finalised and only needs Competition Commission approval.
It has been submitted for approval in December 2014 and the outcome should be known within two or three months, he said.
"One of the key unique differentiator things about Truworths is that we own all of our own brands which we believe are the most appealing to the mainstream fashion retail South African consumer. Our philosophy has always been to own our own brands," Mark told Fin24.
Truworths' women’s emporium includes well-known brands such as Truworths Women, Daniel Hechter, LTD, Ginger Mary, Inwear and Outback Red. Its men’s emporium includes brands such as Truworths Man, Uzzi, DH Mens Hemisphere, and LTD Mens.
"Now we also want to develop our kids’ emporium, which in addition to Naartjie and Earthchild, will also include our highly successful existing children's brands, LTD, Max and Mia and Ziggy. By having, in-store emporiums for women's, men, and children's clothing it will be equivalent to asking consumers 'why shop anywhere else?"
On top of that Earthchild also has a women's brand called Earthaddict, which will fit well into the Truworths women’s emporium and Naartjie (which has a US owner) has a successful e-commerce website in the US.
"We are not in the short term continuing with the Naartjie website in the US, though, as it is still logistically complicated. In the medium term, though, we will try to transform the US website to accommodate Naartjie, Earthchild and maybe even some of our appropriate ladies' and men's brands," said Mark.
As for its African strategy, Mark said Truworths already has 38 stores in other African countries outside SA.
"I think we will triple these over the next few years and with all these brands we have so many choices of which brands which will ensure that we are able to accommodate the local taste and preference of customers in each country," he said.
Concerning its e-commerce strategy, Mark said Truworths already has its own successful website in SA and Naartjie has one too.
"So now we have a nice opportunity to have an emporium of brands on the internet," he said.
Truworths bought Naartjie, which went insolvent and was placed under administration as part of the liquidation process. Mark said Truworths decided to bid for Naartjie in the public auction process in the US, because it believes in the brand's potential and perfect fit for the Truworths emporium.
Mark has been the CEO of Truworths for the past 24 years. He is heading for retirement, but emphasised that he won't bow out until his replacement, Jean Christophe Gabrino, is well trained and up to date with strategy, people and the market. Mark will remain on the board thereafter.
"Business has been tough in SA the last few years in credit environment, but we had a good December and in my opinion in the next few years Truworths will measurably improve performance as we move through the credit cycle," he concluded.
"I am very positive about our brands and our expansion in the rest of Africa.”From Fin24.com
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