Listed clothing retailer, Edgars Limited sales for the first three months to April grew 62 percent from comparable prior year period levels driven by an improved macro-economic environment following the relaxation of COVID-19 pandemic that weighed down business in 2021.
Sales were hard hit when the country was put under strict lockdown particularly in 2020 and 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic peaked but the gradual relaxation of restrictions have since paved way for recovery, the company said in its Q1 trading update.
“Group units sold increased by 62% from 363,162 to 588,534 compared to the same period last year. This significant growth can be attributed to two factors: a) The COVID-19 lockdown during Q1 of 2021 and b) Management’s efforts in ensuring that fresher and more competitively priced merchandise is available in-store.”
Volumes in the Edgars chain were up 81 percent with 239,055 units sold compared to 132,126 units in the comparative period.
The split between credit and cash sales was 58% (2021: 65%) and 42% (2021: 35%) respectively.
“Net trading area increased from 20,814 m to 21,145 square metres following the move of the Borrowdale store to a larger trading space. This move has resulted in wider merchandise assortment for this market with the store showing strong performance in the quarter under review. Stock covers closed at 19.7 weeks (2021:20.3 weeks).”
Total unit sales for the Jet chain were up 104% to 384,672 (2021: 188,279).The split between credit and cash sales was 48% (2021: 38 %) and 52 %( 2020: 62 %). The Chain opened one new store in the quarter, in Harare CBD, taking the store count to 32 (2021: 28). Comparable unit sales growth was 86%. Stock covers closed at 17.2 weeks (2021:14.6 weeks).
Active accounts decreased from 128.2k to 127.3k. The company said new business initiatives realised 3 052 new accounts against 883 opened in Q1 last year.
Debtors’ collections were above expectations, due to improved customer education about available multiple payment platforms.
“The asset quality remains firm with 85.9% (2021: 85.4 %) of our retail debtors’ book in current status. Expected credit losses (ECLs) remain below the industry 5% benchmark at 3.1% (2021 3.0%).”
Carousel Manufacturing, total outerwear (excluding barrier masks) unit sales were up 48.9% to 18,924 (2021:12,712). Management has embarked on various retooling and training initiatives which will result in widening of product offering, improvement in quality, productivity enhancement and an improvement in efficiencies.