TFG – which owns popular fashion chains Foschini, Markhams and Totalsports – has traditionally been viewed as a credit retailer. Its ‘neighbour’ Pepkor – also based on Parow – has always set the high level mark for cash based sales in the fashion retailing segment. Although TFG is unlikely to challenge Pepkor’s position, its cash sales as a percentage of total sales reached a commendable 45.6% from 42.2% in the previous year whilst cash sales for the group.
TFG CEO Doug Murray said that on an annualised basis, cash sales as a percentage of total sales would have increased to approximately 54% if the recently acquired Phase Eight chain in the UK was included. It seems like cash sales momentum is building with Murray noting stronger cash sales growth in the second half of the financial year. He said this reflected the ongoing appeal of TFG’s merchandise to customers.
Overall TFG produced a solid result for the year with combined retail sales growth of close to 14% – which is well ahead of inflation. Murray said the group continued to grow trading space by opening 195 stores for the full year in South Africa and the rest of Africa (with 26 stores closed.)
He added that TFG recently launched its online trading platform with two of its brands TFG Mobile and @home – noting their performance to date had been encouraging and in line with management’s expectations.
He continued by saying TFG would also open more than 160 new stores in 2016 in South Africa and Africa as well as launch an e-commerce platform for sportswear and outdoor retailers Totalsports, Sportscene and Duesouth this month. Other plans included the launching of the “tweens” brand in August.
He said sales into the first six weeks of the new financial year – excluding Phase Eight – were at similar levels to the past financial year. But he did note that in recent weeks’ sales were lower due to unseasonably warm winter weather. Murray also raised concerns around the potential ongoing impact that loadshedding was likely to have on TFG’s business.
“However, we anticipate continuing to benefit from good cash sales growth.”
By Jenni McCann