Superbalist has started the process to retrench workers after parent company Takealot posted a $ 22 million (R420-million) loss for its last financial year.
“Superbalist has embarked on a Section 189 process that will lead to the restructure of its business,” the company stated.
Section 189 processes are so named for the part of South Africa’s Labour Relations Act governing retrenchments.
“Like many other businesses we are faced with the reality that growth post-Covid has not reached the levels that had been forecast,” Superbalist said.
“As such, we need to reevaluate our structures to ensure that the business operates effectively in this current economic environment.”
Superbalist said it is deeply conscious of the impact a change in business operations may have on its people.
“Our first and most important focus is on doing what is right for them, while still being conscious of the decisions we must make to deliver a business geared for a long-term future,” it said.
“We will work hard to balance these two realities at all times.”
Takealot’s performance was revealed in June as part of Naspers’ annual results for the financial year ending 31 March 2023.
An analysis of the results showed that Superbalist, Mr D, and Takealot.com had seen consecutive years of declining sales growth in terms of gross merchandise value.
Regarding whether the larger Takealot group would also face retrenchments, Superbalist said the restructuring was limited to its operations.
“These actions remain unrelated to the rest of the group. Each operating company is measured against its own strategy and performance.”
Superbalist vs Bash delivery test
A recent MyBroadband test showed that despite its financial woes, Superbalist outperformed competitor Bash in delivery speed.
This is likely due to its connection with Takealot and its excellent logistics network.
We placed orders from Superbalist and Bash on a Thursday afternoon, and the Superbalist order surprised us early the following day.
The Bash order took much longer than Superbalist, although still within the promised 3–5 business days, arriving the following Wednesday afternoon.
Luke Jedeikin and Claude Hanan
Bash is owned by The Foschini Group and was launched by the same men who founded Superbalist — Luke Jedeikin and Claude Hanan.
Hanan and Jedeikin founded the e-commerce company Citymob in November 2010 with business partner Daniel Solomon.
In 2013, Citymob switched to fashion and rebranded as Superbalist, and rapidly became South Africa’s largest online fashion retailer.
Takealot acquired Superbalist in 2014 and merged it with Spree four years later to create a South African online fashion powerhouse.
Hanan and Jedeikin built Superbalist from a self-funded startup to South Africa’s most recognisable online fashion outlet, boasting annual sales exceeding R1 billion.
They served as co-CEOs until their departure in December 2019.
In 2021, the pair joined The Foschini Group (TFG). Bash officially launched in February 2023.
Data from SimilarWeb shows that by May, Bash had overtaken Superbalist in terms of traffic and engagement.