Edgars to close more shops

edgars_logoBULAWAYO - Clothing group Edgars is set to close more retail branches under its rationalisation programme aimed at turning around the fortune of the flagging giant.

In a trading update to shareholders, Edgars said last year 12 Express stores and eight Edgars branches were closed as part of the programme. Edgars said the closure of its stores had a limited impact on its turnover while improving its productivity. The group is set to continue with the store rationalisation program due to huge and unreasonable increases in utility costs and rentals. It seems dramatic, but it has improved productivity while having a minimal impact on turnover. the company said in a statement.

The group also announced the stepping down of its long time group managing director (MD), Raymond Mlotshwa and the appointment of the groups financial director, Linda Masterson as his replacement. Edgars said it had recorded a loss for the past fifteen months ended December 2009 and would be releasing the company results in March. The company noted that low disposable incomes, unemployment and uncompetitive pricing had negatively impacted the companys business.

In the period under review the operating environment was characterised by low disposable incomes in an economy were formal employment is 20 per cent and uncompetitive pricing, Edgars said. The company however said the re-introduction of credit had improved sales in the last quarter of 2009.

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