SA Clothing Retail – 1000 Ways to Buy

In this sector note, we consider the impact that the entry of foreign clothing retailers may have on the South African retailers’ buying processes. We study H&M’s buying process, and by comparing it to the local retailers, we highlight key areas of difference. We make the case that the local retailers may have to change some key elements of their current buying process. Encouragingly though, we present the case of a local clothing retailer in Poland that successfully competed with the large foreign competitor, demonstrating that lack of scale is not necessarily a limiting factor for growth and competitive pricing.