Clothing retailers Truworths and The Foschini Group (TFG) have long been mainstays of the domestic fashion scene. For years, Truworths was a front runner in the sector, with strong operational performance and world-class metrics making it a standout performer. But things have shifted. TFG has changed its business model and focused on diversifying itself in terms of product categories and expanding the number of geographies in which it operates. Where TFG used to be immersed in mass-appeal women’s apparel and not operating as efficiently as its competitor, analysts now increasingly see it as the stock to back. But apparel retail has its challenges. SA had its weakest growth in seven years last year and clothing retailers were hit hard. Single-digit growth is forecast for the sector.Evan Walker, fund manager at 36One Asset Management, says the outlook for the SA consumer is still deteriorating and he finds the TFG strategy a bit confusing. "I certainly wouldn’t be exposed to Truworths...

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