Fashion brands Mango and River Island, plus all Nine West standalone stores will soon be no more. And local department store Stuttafords already announced that they'll be closing down their last remaining store in Canal Walk by August.
Sure, we never really had enough time to take to River Island as it was in the country for only a few years, but Stuttafords (okay I never technically shopped there, but still) is iconic. And Nine West was the ultimate matric farewell destination for so many young women for years.
Yet, Fin24 reports that in the last few years Mango and Nine West’s sales contributed less than 5% of The House of Busby's profitability.
So, seems like you bought shoes there just the once then.
Nine West fans will however still be able to find the handbags sold in selected Edgars stores. And Edgars, who as a department store stocks both local and international brands on their shelves, has announced that they will discontinue brands like Express, Geox, Lucky Brand, One Green Elephant, Tom Tailor and Vero Moda.
Fin24 notes that "Mvula Seroto, an investment analyst of Catalyst Fund Managers, says many retailers in South Africa - especially clothing retailers - are feeling the pressure from the dismal economy as well as hefty competition from international groups like H&M and Cotton On, which recently opened in South Africa."
For now international brands like Topshop remain, yet it seems like only a matter of time before H&M and Cotton On will move in. And quite literally actually as H&M is apparently ready to move into the space currently occupied by Stuttafords in Canal Walk.
To me, stores like Stuttafords (again, where I never shop) with its overpriced international brands appealed to a very small market. Cotton On and H&M's affordable fast-fashion suits both the South African consumers budget and keen eye for vibrant dressing.
So, it's basic Darwinism.