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The South African Clothing retail industry generated approximately R385 billion in the last financial year. (This figure is based on Stats SA Retail Trade Sales preliminary report May 2018))
Major clothing retailers such as the Edcon group, Woolworths, TFG, Mr. Price, H&M, Cotton On etc, generated the majority of this turnover. These retailors have access to highly skilled and professional manufacturers both locally and off shore. It is this solid supply base that has made it possible for these retailers to dominate the clothing retail industry in South Africa.
In spite of the major contribution to the GDP that the clothing retail industry makes according to the DTI only 20 – 25% of locally sold clothing is manufactured domestically.
Furthermore the above-mentioned turnover is made with no significant contribution from the local fashion design industry. The integration of local fashion designers into the mainstream clothing retail economy has been stunted by the slow rate in growth of locally produced goods ordered by mainstream retailers as well as the designer’s access to the market, low capacity for the production of high quality clothing goods with the right level of commercial appeal.

This document outlines the opportunity for a larger formalized fashion retailer (The Space) to help develop a fashion designer who is currently operating an SMME designing and making garments in to help grow the SMME for a sustainable future. Local fashion retailors such as The Space who have been committed to the agenda of “Proudly South African” fashion
Leon Mdiya of Future Space Solutions, introduced Team Thrive to Martino Designs

Martino Tsotetsi founded Martino Designs Pty Ltd in 2013. Martino is a self taught Fashion Designer that specializes in custom made garments for weddings, matric dances, funerals and other formal/traditional functions. He also produces bespoke garments for fashion enthusiasts looking for unique fashion. Martino is able to produces both men’s and ladies wear across all categories a combination of African wax prints and denim.
Martino’s father was a tailor and Martino used to help him with alterations for customers. This is where his love for fashion began. He used his father’s machine to experiment making different garments. He decided to find a job in the clothing manufacturing industry to help him develop his garment construction and sewing skills. He started interning for a suit manufacturer where he learnt about pattern making, cutting and garment construction using industrial sewing machines. He was later formally employed and spent 3 years working there honing is clothing manufacturing skills. The business closed down in 2012 and Martino decided that it was time he used what he has learnt to open his own business to continue to make a living doing what he loves.
Martinos operates out of a small studio in Alexandra township in the North of Johannesburg. He works with 2 junior designers, operations/office administrator and admin assistant. The business only services the Alexandra Township and can produce 30-50 garments a month depending on design detail of the garments. Martino Designs currently has 4 machines and industrial iron to produce garments. This machinery is very basic and does not allow for garments to be optimally finished. Martino does allot of manual work to achieve required finish on garments.
Martino Designs relies on walk in’s and word of month to get new clients. There is no marketing budget. He has a few loyal customers that come to him for unique items on a monthly basis. The business’ currently turnover approximately R80 000 a year with a gross profit of between 35 – 40% based on informal records made available.
Products and Services
Business produces the following custom made garments across all apparel categories:
Bridal party attire
Traditional wear
Matric dance dresses
Denim wear
Ready to wear (casual and formal)
The business relies heavily on walk ins and word of mouth for marketing. Martino Designs has a basic Facebook and Instagram page but does not do any digital marketing to build awareness and drive engagement. Growth of followers on social pages has been organic. The business also participates in local fashion shows to market the brand and get more clients.
Customers walk in or call to book an appointment with head designer Martino. Martino can generally see customers within 1 or 2 days. Consultations are between 30mins – 1hour where Martino would be briefed about the occasion, number of garments, fabric, design and styling requirements. Martino gives quotes during the consultation. Quote is based on time spent making garments only. Customers pay for fabric and trimmings upfront. The business does not have agreements with fabric and trims suppliers; these items are purchased at full retail price from fabric shops and haberdasheries at the Oriental Plaza. The operations admin handles collection of money for fabric and trims. Martino purchases fabric and trims once a week. Production times vary based on design detail and number of garments in an order. Occasion wear takes 1 – 3 weeks and ready to wear garments can be completed within a few days. Design and cutting is done by Martino, basic sewing and garment construction completed by junior designer. Martino does the more complicated garment construction work and finishes all the garments. Operations/Office administrator will keep customers updated on the progress of the order, arrange fittings and collect payment for labor before garments are released. There is little to no record keeping. There are also no salaries; the profits are split proportionally based on scope of work on a monthly basis. No profits are carried over to the following month or injected into the business to facilitate growth.
Management & Organization
Owner and Head Designer – Martino Tsotetsi
Junior Designers – Lebogang Kubayi & Thabiso Matsaung
Operations/Office Admin – Shakira Tsotetsi
Admin Assistant – Mpho Dingile
The business does not keep good formal records. From consultation with team is appears that the business’ turnover is approximately R80 000 per annum with a net profit of 35%. The Operations/Office Administrator manages the flow of cash. Please see Annexure A for breakdown of financials.
Supply The Space with Martino Designs ready to wear product by renting 1 linear meter rail space in The Space’s network of 10 stores.
Martino Design’s major challenge is access to a bigger market and building manufacturing capacity to facilitate growth. The Space can assist Martino Designs with securing rail space in their network of 10 stores. Martino Designs will start by supplying 3 stores, adding another 3 stores after 6 months and the final 4 after 12 months, being fully operational in all 10 stores within 12 months. The Space has a nationwide footprint and trades in the top class malls. This will allow Martino Designs an opportunity to scale their business through The Space. Giving them access to a larger market and an opportunity to market the brand by leveraging marketing activities within The Space.
The Space operates 100% consignment; the business charges Designers a rail rental per linear meter and takes a commission on all sales. This business plan will detail the financial and operational requirements, in order for Martino Designs to set the business up to supply The Space on consignment.

Number of years is operation – 20 years
Annual Turnover – R95 million
Number of Designers – 80Number of Designers using African wax prints and denim – African wax prints (3) ; Denim (0)
Average Sales per Designer per store – R25 000
Customer Profile – Women ages 25-55, LSM 8-10
The Space has and Online Store and 11 Stores located in high foot traffic malls across South Africa:
The Zone @ Rosebank, Johannesburg
Mall of Africa, Johannesburg
Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria
Woodlands Boulevard, Pretoria
Clearwater Mall, Roodepoort
Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Durban
Pavilion, Durban
Cavendish Square, Cape Town
Canal Walk, Cape Town
Baywest, Nelson Mandela Bay
De Waterkant, Cape Town

The Space is a chain of 11 stores established 20 years ago with the objective of creating a fashion platform that would bring South African designers and consumers together in a way that is mutually beneficial and helps grow the local fashion industry in a significant way.
The Space is leading the effort to assist South African designers in increasing their slice of the multi-billion rand fashion retail business in South Africa. It is a collaborative effort with the view of nurturing the fashion entrepreneur, by creating this route to market for the designers, The Space is supporting job creation in local textiles and manufacturing industries. The Space provides our South African designers a platform to showcase their product supported by a professional retail infrastructure. They cover the critical elements required for a low-risk entry into the market and facilitation to scale their businesses to create profit and longevity.

Some of these key elements are
Location: The Space is committed to giving designers the best chance of success by acquiring sites at regional and super-regional centers, potentially exposing their brands to millions of customers who visit these malls every month, marketing their brand and ensuring sales success.

Distribution: Designers can get a national footprint with low start-up costs. The Space has stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, PE and Cape Town, helping Designers expand their reach nationally and grow their businesses far quicker than they would have otherwise.

Startup ; Operating Costs: Designers who showcase their product through The Space are provided with world-class store design and implementation, fixtures, they save on water and electricity, rates, IT, insurance, security, retail consumables, and staffing. The cost of opening a store in a top class mall can run into the millions making it very difficult for most designers to trade in these malls independently and compete for the fashion spend.
Marketing; The Space spends a considerable amount on resources to ensure that they market The Space and the Designers in store in an innovative and efficient manner to targeted audiences.
People ; Staffing: The Space has well-trained sales and management staff in stores. Store staff shapes the experience of the customer and enforce the store’s standards that, in turn, drive foot traffic and sales.

Reporting & Stock Management: Sales and Stock reports are made available to all designers. Reporting assists designers to measure and monitor of sales performance at each store against sales targets. Understand what product is driving sales for their brand, determine sales trends and develop action plans based on patterns and manage stock and replenishment to prevent out of stocks and ensure that they maintain sales momentum by ensuring that they are always fully stocked with best sellers. Reports also help forecast future sales to assist with production planning.

Please see attached P&L for the first 18 months of operation. This includes sales forecasts
Expected turnover when supplying all 10 stores after 18 months is R2 638 778 including Vat
Expected net profit before taxes R223 213
Range Curation and Planning – 6 months Prior to Launch
The collection will be monitored and mentored by The Space. The collection will be researched and referenced by head designer at Martino Designs Pty Ltd, Martino Tsotetsi. A storyboard and range plan will be devised, master patterns will be made for each style and samples submitted to The Space for approval and final selections. The Space will review the collection, provide quantities, sizes to be made and size breakdown per store.
For the first order to The Space stores, Martino Designs will produce a Spring /Summer or Autumn/Winter collection comprising of 7 styles totaling 200 garments will be required by The Space for the first stock input, thereafter stock will need to topped up at the rate of sales. This can be done by replenishing existing styles or with the addition of new style. Production will be scaled up to approximately 600 units when supplying all 10 stores.
Below template is an assortment plan, which details the product mix that will allow Martino Designs the best chance of maximizing sales and profit. It details the amount of stock by category in rands (retail price, not cost), how many units should be produced from rands allocated and then lastly number of styles units should be slit over. . It also details the percentage split by category. This is based on sales contribution by category at The Space over 4 seasons.
The services of a freelance retail planner will be used to assist with sales forecasting based on historical sales data provided by The Space and required inputs of stock to reach forecasted sales. Retail planner will assist with initial inputs and provide weekly stock requirements based on sales.
Fabric, Embellishments, Patterns and Samples – 12 Weeks Prior to Launch
The Space will make selection from sample range. Sample range will be made from fabrics and trims that are available for production. Once the colours, fabrics, trims are agreed upon with The Space and sourced, the work will commence. A spec sheet will be issued. Once the samples are approved, mass production patterns and ratings will be finalized.

Once all samples are made, they will be referenced, and cost sheets done. Each sample will be quality checked
Costing sheet details all costs associated with producing a style and also details the margin that would be earned on a particular style. On average a designer should make 70% margin on a garment.
Mass Production – Completed 2 Weeks Prior to Launch
All fabric and trims should be purchased and delivered 10 working days before production begins. A graded set of patterns will be done, (through a computer bureau). The production of garments will then be handed over to Junior Designers and seamstresses. They will be required to produce 100 garments a week when supplying all stores. It will take approximately 3 weeks to produce first stock inputs. Thereafter, the requirement will be to produce at the rate of sale. Based on sales history provided by The Space they should clear 40%-60% of stock every month, meaning they would need to produce between 240 -400 garments every month. Head designer Martino Tsotetsi will carry out quality checks during production. Brand sew-in label, wash care instructions and swing tag will also be added to garments during production.
Dispatching of Garments – Completed 1 Week Prior to Launch
A style code to be allocated to each garment and sent to The Space to load onto their system with delivery note for each store. 60 garments across 7 styles will sorted, counted and packed for each store. Boxes will sent to stores via courier to arrive at least 3 days before launch.

Africa Fashion International
The Space will assist Martino Designer Pty Ltd in securing an emerging designer rate to showcase collection produced for The Space at African Fashion International’s Joburg (Spring/Summer) and Cape Town (Autumn/Winter) Fashion Weeks. These fashion weeks instantly gives the brand fashion credibility will assist the designer to get media exposure and build awareness of the brand within the fashion industry and with potential customers. Ramp images can be used for marketing on social pages throughout the season.
The Space
Martino Designs will leverage The Space’s marketing campaigns. The Space does 3 major digital marketing campaigns every year showcasing the very best of what designers have to offer. They also have social pages with new content posted 3 times a week.
Social Media Marketing
Service provider to rework current social pages by employing social media marketing strategies in order to achieve the following:
Increase awareness about the brand
Increase reach
Increase engagement
Organically Increase the number of likes and followers
To help drive in store sales at The Space
Create a loyal following
Speak to targeted audiences based on demographics

Owner and Head Designer
Range formulation, curation and planning
Overseeing production
Quality manager
Managing and overseeing work of service providers
Garment costing
Junior Designer X2
Pattern making
Fabric cutting
Garment construction
Making samples
Operations/Office Administrator
Basic bookkeeping
Packing and dispatch
General admin
Admin Assistant
Fabric and trims stock taking
Packing and dispatch
General admin
Machinists X4
Garment construction
Garment cleaning and steaming
General cleaning

The General Manager of The Space ensure that Martino Designs is assisted in the following areas, either by coaching or mentoring personally or putting Martino Designs in touch with relevant people within their network. We have identified the opportunity for The Space to continue engagement with Martino Designs in a coaching and mentoring capacity, in the following areas:
Trends analysis
Product development
Production management
Business development within The Space’s network
Trend Analysis – 18 Months (3 Seasons)
Assisting Martino with seasonal trend research, interpretation of trends into South Africa(The Space) market .
Trends analysis is an important function as it gives insight into what the market will want fin advance. Having this information is a critical part in the process of range development as it will influence the fabrics, colours, prints and trims that a designer needs to source.
Product Development – 18 Months (3 Seasons)
Helping Martino with planning and developing fashion-focused seasonal collection in line with the requirements of The Space’s customers. This engagement would be centered around helping Martino to develop collection that The Space is confident will do well in their stores but still remain true to Martino’s aesthetic.
Production Management 6 months (1 Season)
The Space will advise Martino on how plan production properly in order source their input materials from the correct suppliers and manage the quality process effectively enough to maximize their profit and also to supply The Space with high quality, well priced product.
Business Development – 18 Months (3 Seasons)
The Space will review sales after every season and discuss reason for good and poor performance of product by style and by helping Martino to put corrective measures in place to capitalize on missed opportunities

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