Welcome to another insightful episode of Magic Markets. This week, we’re talking about fashion retail. Moe is representing the global north with his choice of athleisure brand Lululemon, while Ghost is keeping things more general with a selection of South African fashion retail brands.

We’ve covered Lululemon a few times in our Premium shows, and initially we were quite excited by some of the innovative strategic moves that this brand was making. What was once a niche player had ascended to global prominence, particularly during the height of the pandemic. Having established dominance over its home market, Lululemon got a taste for acquisitions – and that, unfortunately, was one step too far. We’ll get into the details in the podcast, but let’s just say that the purchase of Mirror came with a much heftier price tag than this company expected.

Back on South African shores, Ghost is getting into the strategies behind local retailers. In a market where “pure play” is a rarity, we find retailers like Mr. Price and The Foschini Group acquiring businesses outside of their core businesses, creating a mosaic of offerings ranging from affordable fashion to upmarket homeware. The resulting diversity poses challenges for investors attempting to discern the core identity of each retail giant. Are there structural reasons in the South African market why this is happening?

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