Pepkor Holdings continues to grow its school uniform market after 50 years
Local manufacturer, Pep Clothing (PepClo), a division of Pepkor Holdings, is celebrating 50 years of production in South Africa. What makes this even more amazing is the fact that South Africa’s clothing manufacturing sector has been under severe pressure. The company is currently the largest clothing manufacturer under one roof in South Africa employing just over 2 000 people.
CEO for PepClo, Marthie Raphael, says, “Our garments have become so entrenched in our society that few people question where it started or where our products are made. Our school clothing is sold through Pepkor’s retailer Pep, providing Student Prince school clothes to millions of South African children.”
PepClo’s four factory divisions manufacture basic school clothing including trousers, shirts, dresses and a range of knitted underwear. Annually, PepClo produces more than 1 million undergarments and 10 million school uniforms of which 5 million are shirts and 4 million are shorts and trousers. In 2018 PepClo also opened a flip flop factory employing nearly 40 people today. The production of flip-flops is a huge success, increasing the number of pairs from 1.5 to 3.8 million in one year.
Local growth and job creation
For many years the local clothing manufacturing industry has been battling the influx of cheap imports, which has made it incredibly difficult for South African manufacturers to expand. Last year, local industry analyst Simon Appel stated that in 15 years, South Africa has probably lost somewhere between 160,000 – 170,000 jobs but within the last 18 months, there has been some pick up.
Pepkor brands overall sell one billion products annually through its 5 000 stores across 12 African countries. Coupled with various payment methods, more than 400 million transactions occur annually and the company currently employs 49 000 people. As a local manufacturer, PepClo has been dedicated to providing high quality garments at affordable pricing for the last 50 years and will do so in years to come.