LISTED clothing retailer and manufacturer, Edgars Stores Limited, will be relocating its retail chain management offices from Bulawayo to Harare where they have more shops in order to manage them on a day-to-day basis, the company has said.
The development is expected to be part of the broader thrust to remodel its business to tap into new opportunities while focusing on cost containment to ensure the long-term viability of the business as the group eyes expanding its geographic footprint.
Responding to questions from Sunday News, Group Chief Executive officer Mrs Tjeludo Ndlovu confirmed the latest development saying the board and management had considered the relocation.
“Edgars Stores Limited Group operates over 62 branches across the country with headquarters being based in Bulawayo. Management and the board are considering the relocation of retail chain management to Harare where there are more shops to manage day to day,” said Mrs Ndlovu.
Founded by Mr Sydney Press, Edgars Stores was registered as a company in Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, in November 1948. Ever since, the company has been headquartered in the Bulawayo with its management stationed at their Edgars building and LAPF house in the Central Business District.
To hedge against potential risks associated with erratic supplies and stock outs which could have easily impeded service delivery, the group acquired Carousel Clothing factory in 1974 and the Jeans Company in 1993.
In 1984, another retail brand called Express was introduced and its first store opened in Harare’s Julius Nyerere Way. By 1988 there were 24 Express outlets. In November 2011, Express Mart was rebranded and Jet Stores launched, to offer more value and variety to customers.
In February this year, the company closed one of its prominent and pioneer branches in Bulawayo citing the need to secure an alternative location that suits its brand expectation amid pressure from illegal forex dealers and vendors. Popularly known as Sales House or branch 501 as the company code-named it, the closed branch was situated at the corner of Herbert Chitepo Street and Leopold Takawira Avenue near Tredgold building in the city centre, which is a hive of activity for vendors and illegal forex dealers.
Mrs Ndlovu added that renovations were underway at Ascot Shopping Centre where the company is set to open another branch as they believe the location is appropriate and convenient for its target market and clients.
“We are in the process of renovating premises at Ascot Shopping Centre for an Edgars branch,” she said.
Meanwhile, in a statement accompanying financial results for the full year ended January 8, 2023, released last month, group chairman, Mr Thembinkosi Sibanda
said the company continues to remodel the business to capitalise on opportunities that arise while cost containment remains a focus area so as to ensure long term viability of the business.
“The Group seeks to expand its geographic footprint through the opening of new stores in strategic locations. Smart merchandise procurement and optimal inventory planning remain key focus areas to ensure that target margins are achieved without compromising the merchandise quality.
“We will continue to transform our customer experience through updating our stores to world-class standards, offering widened merchandise ranges at affordable prices and flexible credit terms,” said Mr Sibanda. —