by MTHULISI SIBANDA in Pretoria
PRETORIA – JOHN Craig, the South African-based retailer of men’s clothing, has unveiled ambitious plans to increase its presence and establish new markets in neigbouring countries.
Company executives outlined the plans during an interview with CAJ News Africa as the retailer meanwhile opened two new stores in the local Gauteng Province recently.
Lily Moreira, John Craig Managing Director, disclosed the company aimed to increase the number of outlets in Namibia from the current five.
She revealed they intended to open three more stores in the next six months in the country (Namibia).
The reception to its products from the capital Windhoek to the northern Rundu town buoyed the plans.
“Namibia has been exciting opportunity for the business. In the last two three years since we have opened there, we have seen some amazing customer growth in that region,” Moreira said.
She said the company would next target expansion to Botswana.
“Botswana is another massive opportunity for the business. There are smaller opportunities in places like Lesotho and Swaziland. Sub-Saharan Africa is what we are targeting in the next two years. When opportunities arise, we will be moving there,” Moreira said.
John Craig, a subsidiary of Pepkor, has grown exponentially since establishment in 1947.
It has defied the prevailing harsh economic situation in South Africa to open over 100 stores.
The most recent were opened in Centurion and Johannesburg South.
Moreira disclosed the company aimed to open between “15 to 20 stores every year” in the next two years.
“That will depend on finding space within the malls. Sometimes the malls are so full finding space is a challenge. If space opens up, we will be there,” she concluded.
– CAJ News