A woman stands outside a branch of clothing store Edgars, owned by Edcon in Cape Town. Picture: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A woman stands outside a branch of clothing store Edgars, owned by Edcon in Cape Town. Picture: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The Competition Commission on Monday approved the sale of parts of Edgars, or up to 131 stores, to retail group Retailability, saving SA’s second-largest fashion retailer from collapse.

“The approval by the Competition Tribunal confirms the successful progress of the business rescue plan, which includes the sale of up to 131 Edgars stores and the saving of approximately 5,200 jobs in the Edgars Business,” Edcon said in the statement.

Retailability planned to use Edgars's unique value proposition and its large target market to ensure the growth and the continuity of a proudly SA Edgars brand, Edcon said.

The deal is still subject to certain employment-related conditions, the company said.

Retailabilty owns a number of clothing brands including Legit, Beaver Canoe and Style and has more than 400 stores across SA and five in other Southern African countries. It made an offer to Edcon to acquire some Edgars stores at the start of July.

In 2016, Retailability bought Legit clothing stores from Edgars for R637m.

The deal follows an offer by Foschini owner TFG to Edcon to acquire the group’s commercially viable stores for R480m. The deal by business practitioners Piers Marsden and Lance Shapiro saved 450 stores from closure.

“The parties will now work on closing various conditions precedents and on finalising the transaction for the rest of Africa,” it said.

Edcon, which employs more than 17,000 workers has been fighting for survival even before it was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic that forced it to shutter its stores and lose out on sales.

At the end of April, Edcon announced that it had filed for voluntary business rescue after it could not pay suppliers following weak January sales, as well as a loss of trade during the Covid-19 lockdown which cost R2bn in missed sales.

thukwanan@businesslive.co.za

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