A brief little roundup of the retailers this week, to ease us all back into the swing of things. Here goes….
“I think it's going to be another very, very tough year for retailers,” – not us, Chris Gilmour, of Absa Wealth and Investment Management, no less, and he goes on to say that most retailers are “priced for perfection,” whatever that may mean, although (and he gets quite pointed here) Pick n Pay isn’t. While he concedes that the business under Mr Brasher is doing everything right, “clawing its way back is going to be an exceptionally long and difficult process.” SPAR, in the meantime, from their secret lair in the subtropical paradise of Pinetown, KZN, have announced diabolical plans to open not one but 35 new stores in the year we have no choice but to call 2015. They will also renovate 180 stores, and open 45 TOPSes, liquor being a growth industry now for oh, about 8,700 years. Shoprite, now – not much there except are they going to keep all those Wetherly’s open that they bought on the Ellerines fire sale? The Competition Comish approved the deal only on the grounds that no jobs would be lost. Something else that we might have missed in the flurry of last minute trading that was the holiday season was that Massmart are launching a click and collect service by which online Makro punters can buy their groceries online then pick them up from a sturdy locker conveniently located at a Sasol near you, rather than having to go through the mission of schlepping out to the nearest Makro in its windy acres of carpark. And from Woolworths? Not much, except a breezy two line press release, circa mid-December, to the effect that they’d had a productive meeting with BDS re the protests in Woolworths stores. On the wholesale front, some pretty exciting news, and close to home, also: Jad Perreira, CEO and founder of Voluntary trading group Unitrade Management Services will be speaking at the Trade Intelligence Independent Trade Forum, kicking off on 19 February in Jozi. If you haven’t got your tickets yet, there is one very compelling reason to do so.