Johannesburg – The Foschini Group (TFG) said yesterday that its switch to local manufacturing had stood it in good stead through the lockdown and the staff complement in these operations could increase by “several thousand” from about 550 over time.
According to TFG chief executive Anthony Thunstrom, waiting for a clothing shipment from China was risky in the current environment, given the delivery could be disrupted by the pandemic and even other factors like the trade war between China and the US.
Thunstrom said TFG employed about 550 people in local manufacturing, and the group would grow this capacity over time.
He added that the group was able to make and supply its stores in South Africa with clothing in 42 days, providing opportunity to supplement stock that was selling faster, and also reducing the risk of having too much stock that was not selling.
Thunstrom said that the pandemic had accelerated many existing shifts in the retail environment. Contrary to expectations, the surge of online buying in South Africa had not slowed with the easing of lockdown restrictions.