Our Clothing Support Office is based in Kenilworth, Cape Town. This division is responsible for all the clothing sold in our stores. Each department, such as Ladieswear or Menswear, has a team that takes full responsibility for the procurement and distribution of stock. The team consists of a buyer, who is responsible for the garments we sell, a planner, who plans the production and stockholding, and an allocator, who is responsible for deciding how much of a particular product is required at each store.
Clothing is available in all our stores, ranging from just a small area in Supermarkets to 1 000m2 sections in Hypermarkets. Clothing is also available in selected Family Stores. In 2002, we introduced standalone clothing stores, with the first opening in the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria. Since then, we have expanded to 45 standalone clothing stores in shopping centres all around the country, with plans to open several more in the future.
The buying process starts 12 months before the season starts. The team meets and considers various factors that will affect what they will buy. They look at sales performance of current lines, international trends and what local competitors are doing.
The buyer focuses on the garment: the cut, colours and trim details. His or her responsibility is mainly to ensure that the garment looks good.
The planner produces a category and assortment plan. This includes planning price points, margins, stock levels and an intake to ensure an even flow of merchandise into the stores through the season at the correct prices and stock levels.
The manufacturers are given orders to produce this merchandise, while the planner continues to monitor the production process. When the goods are made available for distribution, they are quality-checked by the quality department and the buyer, who ensures that the goods have been made to our exact specifications. Once this is done, the goods are shipped to our central distribution centre and onto Pick n Pay stores across the country.