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It’s never fun when your game-changing acquisition turns into a money-sucking nightmare, as in the case of Woolworths’s R22bn David Jones purchase. But it’s not just trouble Down Under that the company, once regarded as the cream of SA retailers, faces. Woolworths’s local fashion fare has been off-target and is losing profit and there are fears that its stalwart food business may have to give up margin as its well-heeled customers forego luxuries in the face of a worsening economy. Business Day asked CEO Ian Moir ... Do you know for sure what went wrong with your SA fashion and can you fix it? Yes, we really do. The figures never lie and it was very clear our biggest problem lay with the subbrand Edition. It was 30% of our women’s offer and it traded at 15% down on the prior year. We got it wrong. We made it too big, it should never have been 30% and then within it, we went way too fashionable, way too young. When you’re able to clearly understand what you got wrong, it’s easier to ...

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