Funding dampens building prospects by Lans
September 15, 2009, 10:44 am
Filed under: Trends

Sector looks beyond 2010
September 9, 2009

By Roy Cokayne

Major construction firms are confident of growth in their order books beyond next year’s Fifa World Cup projects, which have buoyed the industry in the past lean years, though funding remains a pressing concern.
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EU – Online shoppers ‘are being duped’ by Lans
September 15, 2009, 10:24 am
Filed under: Retail, Trends

More than half of European websites selling consumer electronics were misleading or cheating online shoppers, the EU consumer watchdog said yesterday after checks on 369 sites in 26 EU countries plus Iceland and Norway. National regulators would force them to amend their selling practices and could close such sites if they fail to comply. The checks showed that 55 percent of the sites investigated – including 200 of the biggest – were misleading buyers about their consumer rights or shipping costs, or gave incomplete contact details. – Reuters

Shoe sales to trip up AVI profit growth by Lans
July 7, 2009, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Retail, Trends

June 30, 2009

By Florence de Vries

Demand for AVI’s premium footwear brands fell as consumers reduced spending, but the consumer goods group expects to lift headline earnings a share by between 5 percent and 10 percent for the year to June.
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Sales plunge as economy slows by Lans
July 7, 2009, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Retail, Trends

Ukrainian retail sales plunged this year as wages fell and the economy shrank. Sales fell an annual 15.3 percent from a year earlier, the state statistics committee reported yesterday. Ukraine’s economy grew at an average 7 percent between 2001 and 2008, but it shrank 8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Gross domestic product shrank an annual 21.1 percent in the first quarter. – Bloomberg

Profile: Immerman puts smile in dresses by Lans
July 7, 2009, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Retail, Trends

By Lucky Biyase

In 2005 a barely-out-of-teens Rozanne Immerman won a year’s free rent space at the Gateway shopping mall in Durban after she entered a fashion design competition.

This is how Immerman, now 25, was catapulted into business. She says: “I had no retail experience, so I had to learn fast.”
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Durable goods lead persistent sales slide by Lans
July 7, 2009, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Retail, Trends

By Florence de Vries

Sales of durable and semi-durable goods kept falling at an alarming pace in April, according to data released by Statistics SA yesterday, as financial strain on consumers intensified.
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Profile: Selling luxury by invite only by Lans
June 12, 2009, 8:41 am
Filed under: Local News, Retail, Trends

By Thabiso Mochiko

South African shoppers may be holding on to their purses as recession bites, but this hasn’t stopped Arnd Herrmann from starting an online shop selling luxury branded goods.

Shopping is by invitation only at Luxury4Less and potential customers need to be registered members who have been introduced by the company or friends.

Luxury4Less, which started in March, has agreements with about 40 international suppliers to sell their limited edition designs, off-season goods, overstock items and new products still unavailable in the domestic market. Herrmann says he intends adding local brands to what he calls a “VIP shopping club”.

Www.luxury4less.co.za sells products by brand-name retailers such as Gucci at up to 80 percent below recommended retail price.

It offers clothing, jewellery, accessories, high-end electronic goods and home appliances, as well as luxury outdoor furniture.

“We help those brands to off-sell excess stocks,” says Herrmann. He says that a large chunk of the discounts that he negotiates with his suppliers is passed on to his customers.

If a supplier provides a 50 percent discount, Luxury4Less might pass about 45 percent to its customers, Herrmann says.

The company has tripled its customers in the past two months to more than 15 000.

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New Freshstop shops on cards by Lans
June 12, 2009, 8:34 am
Filed under: Retail, Trends

By Florence de Vries

Chevron South Africa and retailer Fruit & Veg City yesterday announced a 10-year strategic alliance to roll out Freshstop convenience stores across a national network of Caltex service stations. Joining the likes of Engen, which joined up with Pick n Pay last year, Freshstop stores will offer baked breads, fast food, coffee and fresh produce to Caltex retailers. Freshstop stores will be introduced in phases, with conversions of its predecessor, Star Mart, starting in the Western Cape, followed by Gauteng. The initiative follows the roll-out of four trial Freshstop stores in Cape Town. – Florence de Vries

Lewis: Downgrade not fair – analysts by Lans
June 12, 2009, 8:26 am
Filed under: Retail, Trends

Two analysts disagreed with Morgan Stanley’s underwieght rating of Lewis Group yesterday. They said the bank failed to consider the quality of the furniture retailer’s management and that its customers were less affected by higher interest rates. But analysts agreed with the overweight given to JD Group, ascribing it to the firm’s settling of contingent liabilities. RMB asset managers said Lewis was a better candidate at this point in the cycle. – Florence de Vries

Jobless seek hope in the franchise industry by Lans
June 2, 2009, 7:38 am
Filed under: Local Company News, Retail, Trends

Interest in sectyor grows, but banks are getting stricter
May 28, 2009

By Lucky Biyase

Retrenchments triggered by the deepening economic meltdown have driven more people to look at investment opportunities in the franchise industry, according to industry specialists.

“Based on the interaction with our clients in general, there is an increase in the number of enquiries from prospective franchisees,” said Bendeta Gordon, the director of Franchise Direction, which conducts research on small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

But although interest was growing, newcomers were battling to find funding to buy franchises. “Banks are applying more stringent criteria to approving franchise applications,” she said.

“For the period 2006 to 2008 we saw more than 115 new franchised systems being introduced. We expect this number will increase during 2009 and 2010 as companies look at risk-averse ways of expanding their networks,” Gordon added.
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