Edgars Stores in 17 % sales decline due to depressed govt wages

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By Alois Vinga

SUPPRESSED consumer spending patterns triggered by depressed salaries being paid to potential customers, has led to Edgars Stores Limited’s units experiencing a 17 % sales decline in the year’s first half.

This was revealed by company’s chairperson, Thembikhosi Sibanda recently.

As a result of the situation, the clothing chain sold 0.6 million units, down from 0.8 million recorded during the same period last year.

However, the chain recorded a turnover of $38 million, up from $19 million recorded during a comparative period last year.

While profit after tax for the period was $14 million, registering a 594 % increase from $1.9 million in the same period last year, such revenue growth was attributed to inflationary pressures and restocking strategies.

Said Sibanda, “The business benefited from a leaner structure, cost inflation that was trailing top line inflation and pre-emptive stocking arrangements.”

The Jet Chain sold 0.87 million units as compared to 1.04 million units sold in the first half of 2018, registering a sales decrease of 17 % despite recording an increase in revenue of 91 %.

Companies within Edgars Stores category have traditionally relied on salaried customers who have been adversely affected by the depressed salary wave affecting the economy.

According to information gathered by Business, the security sector employees are earning salaries and allowances around $414, clothing $237, Agriculture around $300 and the commercial sector is paying around $500.

Civil servants, who normally buy from stores like Edgars, were recently awarded a 76% salary increase that saw the lowest paid worker in government earning about $1 023.

The amount is still too little to meet basic food and household needs, let alone clothes.

The trends come at a time the Zimbabwe National Statistics office recently reported that an average Zimbabwean family of five required at least $2 192 in September this year to meet its basic needs for it not to be deemed poor, a 20 percent jump from the previous month.