04 September 2015. Edcon, South Africa’s largest non-food retailer today celebrated the 2015 National Casual Day with disability awareness activities at its Edgardale Headquarters in Crown Mine.
The retailer uses its extensive retail network to sell the Casual Day stickers, which retails for R10. In 2014, Casual Day managed to raise R28 million, which was used by the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities SA (NCPPDSA) to provide support its affiliated organisations working with persons with disabilities. The organisation is involved in promoting the rights and the enhancement of the quality of life of persons with disabilities.
Elelwane Pahlana, Executive for Transformation at Edcon commented: “Edcon is proud of its association with the NCPPDSA. We have been involved through our extensive retail network with providing support to Casual Day long before we became principal sponsors in 2013. So this to us, is a really special relationship forged by deep respect and an abiding quest to make a difference to the lives of persons with disabilities.”
The Casual Day 2015 event at Edcon’s offices was graced by Casual Day ambassadors, executives of the NCPPDSA and Edcon’s executive management and head office staff.
Pahlana added that Edcon employees have been exemplary in how they have supported Casual Day, both in helping sell stickers and purchasing them for themselves and their families. “Our Edcon Growing Hope programme, which encourages employee volunteerism, is the driving force behind having an engaged and caring work-force.”
Mr Mac Mia, Chairman of the NCCDPSA said, “On behalf of the beneficiaries of Casual Day, we would like to thank the Edcon Group for being our primary sponsors of Casual Day. Edcon has proved itself to be much more than a financial sponsor; it is a true partner, providing opportunities for its workforce to make a meaningful contribution to society.”
In reflection, Pahlana said Edcon has committed over R12 million to Casual Day since becoming a principal sponsor in 2013, with over R4,3 million of the funds raised through the sale of Casual Day stickers in Edcon stores. Edcon continues to support the agenda of the South African disabled community in partnership with NCPPDSA and its affiliates across the country. “Our relationship with NCPPDSA expands beyond the Casual Day sponsorship. Our Employment Equity and HR Department work closely with the NCPPDSA in the recruitment and job placements of persons with disabilities within the Edcon Group.”
NCPPDSA’s affiliates in the nine provinces are also beneficiaries of the Edcon Merchandise Donations Program. This allows the APDs (Association for the Physically Disabled) the opportunity to generate income to support their national programs, through the resale of the donated merchandise. Not all the merchandise donated to the APD Branches is sold, some is redistributed to meet the needs of affiliated community based NGOs supported by the APDs. At the end of 2014, R3,3 million worth of merchandise was donated to the APD branches.
In 2014 Edcon’s Growing Hope Employee Volunteer Program introduced a fundraising initiative dubbed “Clothes to Wheels”, which involved employees recycling unused clothes for a good cause, which were sold to informal micro businesses.
The campaign raised R28 000 that Edcon topped up with a further R500 000. In line with the Group Focus on disability, these funds will provide over 70 custom-made mobility devices, wheelchairs and buggies to children with physical disabilities identified by NCPPDSA in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
In conclusion, Pahlana said Edcon’s culture is one which continues to recognise social issues and challenges that persons with disabilities face and we will continue to strive towards developing a business culture which is sensitive around diversity, inclusivity and access for all.
Edcon is South Africa’s largest non-food retailer, with a market share of the South African clothing and footwear (C&F) market nearly twice that of its nearest competitor, trading through a range of retail formats. The Company has grown from opening its first store in 1929, to trading in 1,173 stores in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zambia. Edcon has been recognised in national surveys as one of the top companies to work for in South Africa and continues to make significant progress in its equity and transformation goals.
Defined by the target markets served, all retail business is structured under three divisions: Department Stores Division, including Edgars, Boardmans, Edgars Active and Red Square, serving principally middle and upper income markets; Discount Division including Jet, Jet Mart and Legit, serving principally middle to lower income markets; and CNA, the stationery, books, games, movies and music retailer.
With the launch of its “Thank U” loyalty programme, Edcon now has the largest retail customer database in South Africa which enables it to provide customers with relevant offers across its suite of retail and financial services products; this programme includes all TOPSHOP and TOPMAN stores in South Africa.
For more information, please visit the Edcon website: www.edcon.co.za