Mr Price Apparel is a fashion-leading clothing, footwear and accessories retailer that offers on-trend and differentiated merchandise at exceptional value to ladies, men and children.
Through constant innovation and product development, staying on the pulse of international fashion trends and diligent resourcing, this brand is able to make catwalk fashion accessible to customers at highly competitive prices.
Our business model is synonymous with offering fashionable merchandise at excellent value.
The value model is at the very core of the group’s existence. Being a value retailer means lower markups and selling higher volumes in order to offer 'everyday low prices.'
Cash sales constitute 80.4% of total sales and the group is focused on remaining a cash-driven retailer. This will continue to differentiate the group from its competitors and produce cash flows that will fund our continued growth and enable an attractive dividend cover.
Founders Stewart Cohen and Laurie Chiappini both started out on shop floors and when they met in autumn 1979 a relationship evolved based on mutual trust and a positive vision. Their earlier employment experiences had given them a negative view of typical businesses and they believed there was a better way of doing business – one where individuals exploited their full potential.
In early 1985 the partners recognised factory shops as the future, but they did not have the money to establish one. They felt clothing prices were too high and dreamt of a new kind of factory shop selling quality merchandise at substantially lower prices. This would be a third generation factory shop boasting attractive interiors, wanted merchandise and incredible advertising, but a very low cost structure to allow for low margins off high volumes.
The very first Mr Price Apparel stores were franchised because of their lack of funds. However when John Orrs Ltd, which also owned Miladys, was acquired in 1986 by Stewart and Laurie in partnership with a bank, the listed company began opening Mr Price stores and acquiring the franchised stores. Alastair McArthur joined the group as MD of Mr Price and the name of the company was changed over time to the Mr Price Group. Mr Price stores were opened rapidly throughout South Africa and by 1995 there were 237 stores.
In 1996 Sheet Street was acquired and Mr Price Home stores and Mr Price Sport stores were established in 1998 and 2007 respectively. Today there are approximately 1000 corporate owned stores in Southern Africa and 24 franchised stores abroad.
Stewart had seen his father work 40 years for one company, but because he did not own shares, he had retired on an inadequate pension. In his heart Stewart knew there was another way whereby successful companies share their wealth creation with employees. Stewart and Laurie studied other companies where the associates had shares or share options – and were moved by stories of truck drivers and sales associates who became wealthy because of that initiative.
In 2011 the group celebrated the silver anniversary of the change in control of John Orrs. During that quarter century sales grew from R100 million to R10 billion, attributable profits rose from R2,6 million to over R1 billion and the share price increased from 30 cents to R75, in the process benefitting thousands of associates.
Their dream was that every associate hold their shares and use the long-term growth in the value of those shares to build financial security and a foundation for a happy home life.
Their story is proof that dreams can become a reality if pursued with passion, value and partnership.
- Maternity Wear
Customer & Pitching
Marketing is pitched at 16 to 24 year olds who want to keep abreast of the latest international trends at exceptional prices. LSM range six to 10.