Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Clothing retailer TFG – which owns Foschini, Markham and Totalsports – wants to have 40 external brands on its new online marketplace by 2020, says chief information officer Brent Curry.

TFG launched an ecommerce platform, called myTFGworld, earlier this month with the aim of stimulating online shopping in SA.

After growing 40% over the past year, online sales make up 7.6% of TFG’s global revenues. SA, however, is well behind the curve compared with the group’s operations in the UK and Australia.

Doug Murray, who retired in September, said earlier this year TFG’s ecommerce penetration was at about 28% in the UK, 2.5% in Australia, and less than 1% in the group’s home market.

“Online shopping is still emerging in SA but it’s going to grow, just as we’ve seen it grow in Australia and the UK,” said Curry. “Once it hits a tipping point of approximately 10%, there will be exponential growth.”

The myTFGworld site will pool all products from TFG’s 17 existing online stores and will also include non-TFG brands.

External brands already on the platform include toy retailers Pylones and Hamleys and books retailer Readers Warehouse, among others.

The site would also soon add drone platform Drone World and liquor delivery service Quench, Curry said.

He said TFG was considering adding products from its international brands.

“Already we are trying UK brand Hobbs at Fabiani, and in due course we will look at the benefits of bringing in our international brands in special interests like occasion-wear and weddings.” 

SA's online retail market is set to pass the R14bn mark this year, marking 1.4% of total retail, according to a report by World Wide Worx, Visa and Platinum Seed.

The 2018 figure represents 25% growth over 2017.