Edgars Deals, Specials & Catalogues

Edgars’ innovations changed the face of clothing retailing in South Africa.

Edgars is one of South Africa’s most well-established non-food retailers. The stores have a history spanning close to 90 years. The first Edgars store was situated in Joubert Street in Johannesburg and opened on the 6th September 1929. Edgars was the brainchild of two brothers – Morris and Eli Ross – who named it as a homage to the famous Swan & Edgar department store in Piccadilly, London. In 1935, a second Edgars store was opened, this time on Long Market Street in Cape Town. In the same year, Sydney Press joined the company and within two years was assigned to open the second Johannesburg store on Eloff Street in 1937, followed by 3 other stores in Springs, Benoni and Germiston as well as the first store in Durban. Within 16 years of its founding, Edgars was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with Press at the helm. Edgars had initially sold women’s clothing, but by the end of the 1940s, the company had extended its product offering to include men’s and children’s clothing, footwear, fabric, and household textiles. By the 1950s, Edgars’ footprint had grown to 140 stores and the first store outside South Africa had been opened. In addition to its own rapid growth, Edgars also acquired Sales House and Jet Stores. The 1990s proved to be a period of upheaval, with Press losing control of Edgars to the South African Breweries. Under the new CEO that SAB appointed, Edgars continued to succeed, reaching sales in excess of R4.2-billion from 520 stores.

Edgars is credited with introducing a number of firsts in the way that clothing was marketed and sold to the South African consumer. The stores were the first to allow customers six months to pay for their purchases. Edgars was also the first clothing store to send out mail-order catalogues. The store also imported international clothing brands, cosmetics and accessories, selling them all under one roof in modern flagship stores of up to 10,000 square metres. The company launched its Thank U loyalty rewards in 2012, and within four years the program had 12 million active members. Today, Edgars operates as part of the Edcon Group, which comprises six other chains stores.

Edgars was the first South African retailer to use barcode technology to speed up the checking out process

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