By Staff Reporter
CLOTHES retailing and manufacturing concern Edgars Stores Limited says it anticipates a better working environment buoyed by an anticipated salary increase in the economy.
The government which is arguably the largest formal employer in the country is currently in negotiation with its workers on the possibility of salary increases.
Civil servants constitute a huge chunk of Edgars and Jet Stores customers where they take clothes and cosmetics on accounts.
In a statement accompanying the company’s abridged unaudited results for the 52 weeks ended 6 January 2019, Edgars said “In the short term, we look forward to customers being assisted somewhat by salary increases. In the longer term, we look forward to the promised fiscal discipline and reforms delivering foreign investments and job creation.
“We will intensify our efforts in working with local suppliers to develop and improve quality, fashionability and importantly on-time delivery of the wanted product. Management will continue to deliver profit growth to all our stakeholders,” said the statement.
The clothing sector is currently facing a lot of challenges such as the influx of imported cheap clothes being smuggled through the country’s borders and being sold in flea markets, open spaces and shop verandas in and around towns.
Edgars said even though trading conditions during the year were good, the major challenges has been that of foreign currency which has affected the imported brands sector
“Foreign currency shortages necessitated an import substitution program which through the efforts of our sourcing teams was largely successful. Despite these endeavours, local production was somewhat erratic due to the inability of our suppliers to source inputs. Imported product line which could not be sourced locally such as cosmetics, shoes and lingerie, were more severely affected.
“Despite the difficulties, trading conditions during the first 9 months of the year were very good,” the company added.
The company said it could have posted better results had it not been for the constraints induced by the unavailability of foreign currency which prevented importation of certain assortment lines.
“While we could have achieved a better top line with an improved assortment of imported lines, this proved impossible due to the constraints mentioned above.
“Group revenue grew by 22% on last year to $78 million (2017:$64.1million), group retail unit sales declined by 11.4% for the year.
“Profit for the period of $8.5 million was 114% higher than prior year of $3.98million, partly due to increased margins in the last quarter. Group margins improved to 46% (2017:43%),” Edgars said.
Meanwhile, Edgars Stores Limited has revealed that it is in the process of trying to reinstate its two Kadoma stores that were gutted by fire.
“In November out two Kadoma stores, which premises were under lease were destroyed by fire, efforts are underway to reinstate both operations,” said the company.