The Foschini Group (TFG), which is due to hold its annual general meeting on Wednesday, said the re-introduction of the lockdown in Australia, load shedding interruptions in South Africa, and weak sales in the UK because of social distancing, have slowed its recovery as July and August were still recording double digits on items like cosmetics and jewellery.
The fashion retailer published a trading update for the 22 weeks to 29 August on Tuesday afternoon, which showed a 29.7% decline in the group's retail turnover over that period. TFG London was hit the most as sales tanked 58% between April and end August.
While TFG recorded massive declines in retail turnover between 1 April and 27 June – clothing, cosmetics and jewellery revenues were down 41%, 51% and 70% respectively – clothing has recorded marked improvement even though revenue was still down 5.3% in August, which might partly be attributed to merchandise deflation of 3.7%.
"Trading conditions across all three of the Group’s major territories, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia, continue to be challenging," wrote the company in the trading update.
"In South Africa, continued electricity load shedding has further impacted on the country’s economy. Approximately 15 000 trading hours have been lost to load shedding during the months of May to August."