MASERU – South African retail clothing giant Edcon will officially open its first branch of Edgars Active in Lesotho today.
The outlet at Pioneer Shopping Centre is the first that the company is opening in Lesotho under the Edgars brand.
But Edcon is already present in Lesotho through one of its subsidiary companies, Jet Stores.
Its other subsidiaries like Discom, Red Square and CNA were once in Lesotho but closed shop.
Discom and CNA shut down due to poor business while Red Square left Lesotho after their shops were burnt down during the 1998 political riots that left Maseru, the capital, completely ruined.
Edgars Active specialises in top-of-the-range sportswear that includes popular brands like Puma, Nike and Adiddas.
Paul Beneckhe, the regional operations manager at Edgars Stores said they saw an opportunity to bring their international brand to Maseru.
“With many customers visiting our stores in Bloemfontein we saw an opportunity to bring the services to them,” he said.
“We could not open last week due to a problem with our system. Besides, most of our products could not get through the border since it was a public holiday.
“We therefore could not open with a half-stocked store,” Beneckhe said.
During today’s opening there will be a fashion show where models will display some of the fashionable brands offered by the store.
Beneckhe said they decided to open Edgars Active because there was no space for the Main Edgars.
The group expects to open an Edgars Store branch when phase two of the Pioneer Mall is complete depending on the viability of the new shop.
Beneckhe said most of their employees are Basotho, adding that they would also get temporary staff during busy days.
“Most of our employees are from our sister store Jet and we have trained them so they can fit into the Edgar’s culture.
“Although they were also part of the Edcon family, it was important to train them as we do things differently here.”
Beneckhe said Basotho should expect exclusive and top-end international brands from Edgars Active.
Edcon Stores Group includes; Red Square, CNA, Prato, Main Edgars, Edgars Active, Boardmas, Temptations, Jet Stores, Legit and Discom.
Edcon has 1 000 outlets in southern Africa.