The lone survivor of South Africa's apparel department stores, Edcon, the owner of Edgars, may be on its way to the retail graveyard where the corpses of John Orr's and Stuttafords lie. There have been many false dawns over the past decade of the debt-laden retailer's imminent return to its glory days of the past century, when it was owned by SABMiller, now AB InBev. Its flagship store, Edgars, continues to struggle to find a place in the increasingly competitive local fashion space, which has seen the entry of some of the world's leading global retailers, with the company earlier this month reporting a quarterly sales decline. With Edcon readying itself for a return to the local bourse, after being taken private in a highly leveraged R25-billion move just over a decade ago, the retailer's struggles will weigh on just when will it return. In retail you can "let people make mistakes, but [they] can't keep making the same mistakes - they must learn from them," said Andrew Jennings, fo...

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