At its AGM, held yesterday 3 September 2012, Doug Murray, group CEO of TFG (The Foschini Group) said that the group looked forward to a busy festive season, though mindful of the tougher consumer environment. Sales have increased by 13.2% year-on-year and the group is satisfied that the various trading divisions are currently performing well. Despite the consumer still being under pressure, the group has focused on its strategic objectives and this is bearing fruit.
The group continues with its strategic initiatives which include supply chain optimisation to ensure fast-fashion capability and CRM focus to increase customer spend, including the launch of its rewards programme for credit customers later this year.
It also plans to reposition its jewellery division to drive old store growth and to identify additional expansion opportunities.
In the past year, the group also expanded its store base, opening 150 new stores including 18 outside of South Africa. It introduced credit sales in Lesotho and Botswana for the first time and enlarged its customer base through the acquisition of Fabiani and G-Star, which gave it an entrée into the luxury menswear market.
In the current year, in line with its strategy of investing for long-term growth, it plans to open a further 150 new stores in certain of its formats and anticipates increasing trading space by approximately 7% in the current year.
Murray said despite the more challenging credit environment TFG’s retail debtors’ book was performing satisfactorily and within management expectations, while RCS, which TFG holds 55% with Standard Bank to provide transactional finance, personal loans and private label cards to other retailers, continues to perform well.