Edgars re­sumes ex­ports

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

LISTED cloth­ing re­tailer, Edgars Stores Lim­ited has re­sumed ex­ports af­ter a decade as it seeks to im­prove its rev­enue base through for­eign cur­rency gen­er­a­tion.

Speak­ing dur­ing a tour of the cloth­ing re­tailer’s fac­tory, Carousel Pri­vate Lim­ited fac­tory in Bu­l­awayo on Fri­day by In­dus­try, Com­merce and En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment Deputy Min­is­ter Raj Modi, the firm’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Mr Men­free Tanyanyiwa, said Edgars re­sumed ex­ports to South Africa last month.

“We have started ex­port­ing and we sent an or­der to Edgars South Africa, our par­ent com­pany a few weeks ago and within two weeks of ex­port about 160 gar­ments have been sold. We are do­ing what we call toll man­u­fac­tur­ing agree­ment where our cus­tomer in South Africa sup­plies the fab­rics and sends through the trims (zip­pers, but­tons, among other or­na­ments) then we pro­duce and ben­e­fi­ci­ate it then send it back to the cus­tomer. So what we are gen­er­ally do­ing is we are con­vert­ing the labour, elec­tric­ity costs and what­ever else goes on into it, into forex, so the sup­plier then pays us for pro­duc­ing,” said Mr Tanyanyiwa.

Carousel is Edgars’ man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness unit, which pro­duces a wide range of denim, ladies, chil­dren’s and gents’ ca­sual wear that it sup­plies to the com­pany’s re­tail di­vi­sions as well as to other re­tail­ers. Edgars ceased ex­ports at the height of the hy­per-in­fla­tion in 2008. Be­fore sus­pend­ing the ex­ports, the firm ex­ported into the re­gion as well as Eu­ro­pean mar­kets to coun­tries such as Ger­many.

“We are just hop­ing that if we are able to grow this cake (ex­ports) we will be able to grow the busi­ness and to raise for­eign cur­rency, which we will then use to or­der our own fab­rics for the lo­cal con­sump­tion of the re­tail chains and gen­er­ally the whole coun­try. This will also sus­tain the coun­try’s econ­omy with more for­eign cur­rency in­flows,” said Mr Tanyanyiwa.

He said the com­pany was, how­ever, faced with a myr­iad of chal­lenges, chief among them be­ing the short­age of for­eign cur­rency and the in­flux of smug­gled cheap sec­ond-hand clothes.

“The chal­lenge we may say we are fac­ing is the forex is­sue, but at some point in May we met the (Re­serve Bank of Zimbabwe) Gov­er­nor (Dr John Man­gudya) to­gether with our gen­eral man­ager and they were very help­ful. As for those who sell clothes on the street I think they should be reg­u­lated, pay duty among other statu­tory re­quire­ments to en­sure there is even­ness that comes with both mar­kets be­ing prop­erly reg­u­lated to co-ex­ist,” said Mr Tanyanyiwa.

He said a fur­ther re­stric­tion threat­en­ing the com­pany’s growth was in the form of the im­po­si­tion of Statu­tory In­stru­ment (SI) 163 of 2017, which in­creased the duty on cot­ton and poly-cot­ton fab­rics from 10 per­cent to about 90 per­cent.

“The com­pany is cur­rently work­ing at 25 per­cent ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion, em­ploy­ing about 400 work­ers but at full ca­pac­ity we can em­ploy about 2 000. Also in terms of gar­ment pro­duc­tion we are pro­duc­ing about 1 000 to 2 000 a day but once we have re­tooled we will be look­ing at 5 000 gar­ments a day,” said Mr Tanyanyiwa.

Speak­ing af­ter the fac­tory tour Deputy Min­is­ter Modi praised the com­pany’s re­silience in the wake of the eco­nomic chal­lenges over the years.

“I am glad to say that de­spite all the chal­lenges, the com­pany is still do­ing well. It’s very good and en­cour­ag­ing, it’s a tes­ti­mony to peo­ple on how they are sur­viv­ing within the same en­vi­ron­ment like any­one else and man­ag­ing to do busi­ness and even pros­per­ing while oth­ers are com­plain­ing,” said the Min­is­ter.

@judiephiri9

Edgars Stores Lim­ited man­ag­ing di­rec­tor — Corousel — Mr Men­free Tanyanyiwa takes Deputy Min­is­ter of In­dus­try, Com­merce and En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment Cde Raj Modi on a tour of the com­pany in Bel­mont, Bu­l­awayo

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