Edgars names new chief financial officer

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HARARE – Edgars Stores Limited Zimbabwe Group has named Chesternoel Mutevhe as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective January 1st, 2024.

This follows the resignation of Happiness Vundla as Edgars Stores Limited Zimbabwe Group CFO last November.

Mutevhe is expected to bring a wealth of experience to the role of CFO, having spent seven years with CFI Holdings, most recently as Group Financial Director.

He also served as head of finance in Zimbabwe for Karo Platinum.

His arrival is a sign of the clothing store’s commitment to financial stability and strategic turnaround.

The past year saw Edgars grapple with declining profits, attributed by many to a turbulent market environment.

Ex-CEO Tjeludo Ndlovu and Vundla stepped down last November amidst the challenges.

As with many Zimbabwean retail companies, Edgars faced headwinds from currency distortions, rising inflation, and stiff competition from the informal sector.

The Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated the challenges.

Forced closures due to lockdowns in 2021 led to outdated merchandise sales, dampening customer appeal, the company noted.

Additionally, the rise of informal traders offering pre-loved clothes at lower prices chipped away at Edgars’ market share.

Recognising the challenges, the Zimbabwean government has implemented a raft of measures to level the playing field for formal retailers.

Wholesalers without VAT registration or valid tax clearance certificates are now barred from purchasing directly from manufacturers.

This aims to curb unfair competition from informal traders and encourage them to formalise and contribute to the tax system.

Edgars’ appointment of Mutevhe as its finance chief demonstrates its intent to embrace the new landscape and navigate the economic complexities.

His extensive financial expertise and track record of success will be crucial in steering the company towards profitability and ensuring its long-term sustainability.

With a new CFO at the helm and promising regulatory measures in place, Edgars hopes to regain its footing and thrive in the evolving Zimbabwean retail landscape.

Whether they succeed in overcoming the challenges and regaining customer trust remains to be seen, but Mutevhe’s arrival is seen as suggesting renewed commitment to reinvigorating the brand and restoring its financial health. – ZimLive