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Company > Edcon: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Edcon: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Mar 26, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will explore the business model of Edcon, a prominent retail company, and conduct a comprehensive SWOT analysis to evaluate its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. As we delve into the company's strategy, we will also examine its key competitors in the retail industry. By analyzing these aspects, we aim to gain valuable insights into Edcon's position and potential growth opportunities in the market as we look forward to the year 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Edcon and the importance of understanding its ownership structure in analyzing the company's operations and decision-making processes.
    • The mission statement of Edcon and its significance in guiding the company's strategic direction and goals.
    • How Edcon generates revenue and the key sources of its income, providing insights into the company's financial sustainability and growth prospects.
    • An explanation of the Edcon Business Model Canvas, a tool that helps to visualize and understand the company's value proposition, customer segments, revenue streams, and more.
    • An overview of the major competitors of Edcon, providing a deeper understanding of the competitive landscape in which the company operates.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Edcon, examining the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, enabling readers to evaluate its overall performance and potential challenges.

    Who owns Edcon?


    In this section, we will delve into the ownership structure of Edcon, one of the leading retail companies in South Africa. Understanding the ownership of a company provides insights into its decision-making processes, strategic direction, and stakeholders' interests. Let's explore the ownership of Edcon in more detail.

    Majority Ownership

    Edcon is primarily owned by a consortium of investors, with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) holding the majority stake. PIC is a state-owned entity responsible for managing South African government employee pension funds. With its significant ownership, the PIC has a vested interest in the success and growth of Edcon.

    Secondary Ownership

    Apart from the PIC, several other notable entities hold ownership stakes in Edcon. These include various investment funds, private equity firms, and retail-focused investment companies. These secondary owners contribute to the diversified ownership structure of Edcon, bringing in different perspectives and expertise to the table.

    Management Ownership

    In addition to external investors, Edcon's management team also holds a certain level of ownership in the company. This aligns the interests of the management team with those of the shareholders, fostering a sense of accountability and collaboration. Management ownership is often seen as an indicator of commitment and dedication towards the long-term success of the company.

    Employee Ownership

    Another aspect of Edcon's ownership is employee ownership. Through employee share schemes and stock options, Edcon provides opportunities for its employees to become partial owners of the company. This not only incentivizes employees to contribute to the company's growth but also fosters a sense of ownership and loyalty among the workforce.


    The ownership structure of Edcon reflects a diverse range of stakeholders, each with their vested interests in the company's success. The majority ownership held by the PIC, along with secondary owners, ensures a broad range of expertise and resources are available to support Edcon's strategic growth. Additionally, management ownership and employee ownership further align the interests of key stakeholders, promoting a collaborative and accountable corporate culture. Understanding the ownership of Edcon provides valuable insights into the company's governance and decision-making processes.

    What is the mission statement of Edcon?

    The Mission Statement of Edcon

    Edcon, one of the leading retail companies in South Africa, has a clear and concise mission statement that guides its operations and strategic decisions. The mission statement of Edcon can be summarized as follows:

    "To be the preferred destination for fashion, beauty, and home products by providing exceptional value, quality, and service to our customers."

    This mission statement reflects Edcon's commitment to creating a unique and enjoyable shopping experience for its customers. By positioning itself as the preferred destination, Edcon aims to become the go-to retailer for fashion, beauty, and home products in South Africa.

    The mission statement emphasizes three key elements that Edcon considers essential in achieving its goals:

    1. Exceptional Value: Edcon strives to offer its customers value for their money by providing competitive prices and promotions. By constantly monitoring market trends and negotiating with suppliers, Edcon ensures that its products are affordable and represent good value.

    2. Quality: Edcon is dedicated to offering high-quality products that meet the expectations and preferences of its customers. Through carefully curated collections and partnerships with reputable brands, Edcon ensures that its products are of superior quality, appealing to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

    3. Service: Edcon believes that excellent customer service is the cornerstone of its success. The company places great emphasis on providing personalized and attentive service to its customers, ensuring a seamless shopping experience both in-store and online. Friendly and knowledgeable staff members are trained to assist customers in finding the right products and to address any inquiries or concerns promptly.

    By aligning its operations with this mission statement, Edcon aims to establish long-lasting relationships with its customers, foster loyalty, and drive growth. The mission statement serves as a guiding principle for the company's strategies and initiatives, ensuring that every decision made is in line with its overall objective of becoming the preferred destination for fashion, beauty, and home products in South Africa.

    How does Edcon make money?

    Retail Sales

    One of the primary ways Edcon generates revenue is through retail sales. As a leading retail company, Edcon operates various popular department store chains, including Edgars, Jet, CNA, and Boardmans, among others. These stores offer a wide range of products, including clothing, footwear, accessories, homeware, electronics, and stationery, catering to diverse customer needs. By providing quality merchandise and attractive promotions, Edcon entices customers to shop at their stores, thereby driving sales and generating revenue.

    Credit Sales and Financial Services

    Another significant source of income for Edcon is through credit sales and financial services. Edcon offers its customers the opportunity to shop on credit, providing them with store cards or credit facilities. This allows customers to make purchases and repay the amount over a specified period, often with interest. By offering this service, Edcon not only increases its customer base but also earns revenue through interest charges and fees associated with credit facilities.

    Additionally, Edcon provides various financial services, including insurance, loans, and funeral cover, among others. These services contribute to the company's revenue by generating fees and commissions. By diversifying its offerings beyond retail, Edcon extends its reach in the financial sector and establishes alternative revenue streams.

    Store Rentals and Partnerships

    Edcon also generates income through store rentals and partnerships. The company owns numerous retail spaces located in prime areas across South Africa. By leasing these spaces to other retailers, Edcon earns rental income. Moreover, Edcon collaborates with various brands and businesses through joint ventures, franchising, and licensing agreements. By leveraging its well-established retail network, Edcon secures partnerships, allowing it to earn royalties and fees from these collaborations.

    Online Sales

    In recent years, Edcon has embraced the digital era and expanded its presence in the e-commerce market. Through its online platform, customers can conveniently shop for Edcon's products from the comfort of their homes. This online sales channel enables Edcon to reach a wider audience and tap into the growing trend of online shopping. By offering online sales, Edcon boosts its revenue by capturing a portion of the expanding e-commerce market.


    Edcon employs various strategies to generate revenue. Its core focus remains on retail sales, where it operates multiple department store chains offering a diverse range of products. Furthermore, Edcon capitalizes on credit sales and financial services, providing customers with convenient payment options while earning interest charges and fees. Store rentals, partnerships, and online sales also contribute to Edcon's revenue streams, ensuring the company remains competitive in the dynamic retail industry.

    Edcon Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is the Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps businesses visualize and analyze their business models. It provides a comprehensive framework to understand how a company creates, delivers, and captures value.

    Overview of Edcon's Business Model Canvas

    Edcon, one of the leading retail companies in South Africa, utilizes the Business Model Canvas to outline and evaluate its business model. Let's dive into the different components of Edcon's Business Model Canvas:

    Key Partnerships

    Edcon forms strategic partnerships with various stakeholders to enhance its value proposition. These partnerships include collaborations with suppliers, manufacturers, financial institutions, and other retail brands. By partnering with trusted and reliable entities, Edcon ensures a robust supply chain, competitive pricing, and access to a wide range of products for its customers.

    Key Activities

    The key activities of Edcon encompass the entire retail value chain. Starting from product sourcing and procurement, the company manages inventory, warehousing, and logistics. It also focuses on marketing and advertising campaigns to promote its products, while simultaneously providing excellent customer service and after-sales support. By efficiently executing these key activities, Edcon maintains a seamless shopping experience for its customers.

    Key Resources

    Edcon relies on various key resources to operate effectively. These resources include a vast network of physical stores located across South Africa, a dedicated and knowledgeable workforce, advanced technology infrastructure, and strong relationships with suppliers. By leveraging these resources, Edcon ensures a smooth and efficient operation, satisfying the demands of its customers.

    Value Proposition

    Edcon offers a unique value proposition to its customers, aiming to provide affordable and fashionable clothing, accessories, and household goods. By catering to a wide range of customer segments, Edcon delivers a variety of brands and products that suit diverse tastes and preferences. Additionally, the company focuses on delivering exceptional customer service and a personalized shopping experience, further enhancing its value proposition.

    Customer Segments

    Edcon targets a broad range of customer segments, including men, women, and children of various age groups. The company caters to customers from different income levels, offering both budget-friendly and premium products. By understanding the needs and preferences of its customer segments, Edcon designs and curates its product offerings to meet their diverse requirements.


    Edcon employs a multi-channel approach to reach its customers. It operates through physical retail stores, e-commerce platforms, and mobile applications. These channels provide customers with flexibility and convenience in accessing Edcon's products and services. By embracing a multi-channel strategy, Edcon ensures a seamless shopping experience across different touchpoints, meeting customers' expectations in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

    Cost Structure

    Edcon manages its cost structure efficiently to maintain profitability and competitiveness. The company focuses on cost optimization through effective supply chain management, streamlined operations, and prudent financial decisions. By controlling costs without compromising on the quality of products and services, Edcon strives to offer competitive prices to its customers.

    Revenue Streams

    Edcon generates revenue through various streams. The primary source of revenue comes from the sale of products through its retail stores, e-commerce platforms, and mobile applications. Additionally, the company offers credit facilities and loyalty programs, generating revenue from interest charges and membership fees respectively. By diversifying its revenue streams, Edcon ensures a stable income flow and sustains its business operations.


    By utilizing the Business Model Canvas, Edcon gains a holistic understanding of its business model, helping the company identify areas of improvement, leverage its strengths, and adapt to changing market dynamics. This strategic tool enables Edcon to stay competitive in the retail industry and deliver value to its customers effectively.

    Which companies are the competitors of Edcon?

    Competitors in the Retail Industry

    Edcon, a leading retail company in South Africa, faces strong competition from several other players in the industry. Here are some of the main competitors of Edcon:

    1. Woolworths Holdings Limited

    Woolworths Holdings Limited is a well-established retail company that operates in various sectors, including clothing, food, and beauty. With a strong presence in South Africa and neighboring countries, Woolworths competes with Edcon in the apparel and fashion segment. The company's focus on quality, sustainability, and customer service makes it a formidable rival for Edcon.

    2. TFG (The Foschini Group)

    TFG, also known as The Foschini Group, is another major competitor of Edcon. TFG operates a diverse portfolio of retail brands across different segments, including clothing, jewelry, and home goods. With a wide range of brands catering to different customer preferences and price points, TFG competes with Edcon in the market for fashion and lifestyle products.

    3. Truworths International Limited

    Truworths International Limited is a leading fashion retailer in South Africa and other African countries. The company focuses on offering trendy and affordable clothing, footwear, and accessories to its customers. Truworths competes with Edcon in the fashion retail space, particularly targeting the mid-market segment. Its extensive store network and strong brand presence make it a significant competitor for Edcon.

    4. Mr Price Group Limited

    Mr Price Group Limited is a prominent South African retail company that operates multiple brands across various segments, including apparel, home goods, and sportswear. The company's brands, such as Mr Price, Miladys, and Sheet Street, compete directly with Edcon in the fashion and home retail sectors. Mr Price Group's competitive pricing and focus on value-for-money products attract a broad customer base.

    5. Pepkor Holdings Limited

    Pepkor Holdings Limited, formerly known as Steinhoff Africa Retail, is a retail conglomerate with a diverse portfolio of brands covering clothing, footwear, and household goods. Pepkor's brands, including Pep, Ackermans, and Tekkie Town, pose competition to Edcon, particularly in the lower to mid-market segments. The company's extensive store network and focus on affordability make it a significant player in the retail industry.

    These are just a few examples of the companies that compete with Edcon in the retail sector. The industry is highly competitive, and staying ahead requires continuous innovation, strong brand positioning, and adapting to changing customer preferences and market dynamics.

    Edcon SWOT Analysis


    • Established brand: Edcon is a well-known retail company in South Africa, with a history dating back several decades. This strong brand recognition gives them an advantage over newer competitors in the market.

    • Wide range of product offerings: Edcon operates multiple retail chains, including Edgars, Jet, and CNA, which offer a diverse range of products such as clothing, footwear, cosmetics, and stationery. This extensive product portfolio allows Edcon to cater to a wide customer base and increases their revenue potential.

    • Strong customer loyalty: Edcon has built a loyal customer base over the years. Many customers have a longstanding relationship with the company and continue to shop at Edcon stores regularly. This loyalty provides a stable customer base and a source of recurring revenue.


    • Debt burden: Edcon has been struggling with a significant debt burden, which has limited their financial flexibility and ability to invest in growth initiatives. This debt has been a major challenge for the company and has affected their overall financial performance.

    • Over-reliance on physical stores: In an era of increasing e-commerce and digital transformation, Edcon's heavy reliance on physical stores poses a risk. The company has been slow to adapt to online retail trends, which has put them at a disadvantage compared to competitors who have embraced e-commerce.

    • Declining sales: Edcon has experienced a decline in sales in recent years, primarily due to changing consumer preferences and increased competition. This decline in sales has put pressure on the company's financial performance and threatens their long-term viability.


    • E-commerce expansion: Edcon has the opportunity to expand their online presence and invest in e-commerce capabilities. By leveraging technology and offering a seamless online shopping experience, they can tap into the growing trend of online retail and attract a new customer segment.

    • Strategic partnerships: Edcon can explore strategic partnerships with other retail or technology companies to strengthen their position in the market. Collaborations can help them leverage each other's strengths and reach a wider customer base.

    • International expansion: While Edcon primarily operates in South Africa, there is potential for international expansion into neighboring countries or other emerging markets. This expansion can help diversify their revenue streams and reduce their reliance on the South African market.


    • Intense competition: The retail industry in South Africa is highly competitive, with both local and international players vying for market share. Edcon faces the threat of losing customers to competitors who offer better pricing, convenience, and a superior shopping experience.

    • Economic downturn: Edcon's performance heavily relies on the overall economic conditions in South Africa. A prolonged economic downturn or recession can lead to reduced consumer spending, impacting the company's sales and profitability.

    • Changing consumer behavior: Consumers are increasingly shifting towards online shopping and seeking more personalized experiences. Edcon's traditional brick-and-mortar model may struggle to meet the evolving needs and preferences of consumers, potentially leading to a decline in customer loyalty.

    Key Takeaways

    • Edcon is owned by Retailability Holdings, a consortium of South African investors, after going through a business rescue process in 2020.
    • The mission statement of Edcon is to be the leading fashion, beauty, and home retailer in South Africa by offering customers a wide range of quality products and exceptional service.
    • Edcon primarily generates revenue through the sale of clothing, footwear, beauty products, and home goods through its various retail brands, such as Edgars, Jet, and CNA.
    • The Edcon Business Model Canvas outlines the key aspects of Edcon's business model, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, resources, and partnerships.
    • Some of the competitors of Edcon in the South African retail industry include Woolworths, Truworths, Mr Price, and Foschini Group.
    • In a SWOT analysis, Edcon's strengths include its established brand presence and wide product range, weaknesses include its high levels of debt, opportunities include expanding its online presence, and threats include increasing competition and economic uncertainty.


    In conclusion, Edcon is a prominent retail company in South Africa, owned by a consortium of creditors, including banks and bondholders. The company's mission statement is to be the leading fashion and beauty retailer in Africa, providing value, quality, and exceptional customer experiences. Edcon generates revenue through various channels, including retail sales, credit services, and partnerships with other brands.

    By analyzing Edcon's business model canvas, we can see that the company focuses on key activities such as merchandising, marketing, and customer service to deliver value to its customers. Additionally, Edcon has established strategic partnerships and collaborations to expand its reach and offerings.

    Despite its strong position in the market, Edcon faces competition from various companies in the retail industry. Key competitors include Woolworths, Truworths, and Mr Price. These companies also operate in the fashion and beauty sectors and provide similar products and services to customers.

    Lastly, by conducting a SWOT analysis, we can identify Edcon's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The company's strengths lie in its extensive brand portfolio, established customer base, and widespread store network. However, Edcon faces challenges such as debt burden, increased competition, and shifting consumer preferences. Nevertheless, the company has opportunities to expand its digital presence, enhance its product offerings, and improve its financial performance.

    In conclusion, Edcon's ownership, mission statement, revenue generation, business model canvas, competitors, and SWOT analysis provide a comprehensive understanding of the company's position in the retail industry. While Edcon faces challenges, it also possesses the potential to adapt and thrive in a dynamic market environment.


    What are the 5 elements of SWOT analysis?

    The five elements of SWOT analysis are:

    1. Strengths: The internal factors that give an organization an advantage over its competitors. These can include unique resources, expertise, strong brand reputation, loyal customer base, or efficient processes.

    2. Weaknesses: The internal factors that place an organization at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. These can include lack of resources, outdated technology, poor customer service, or limited market reach.

    3. Opportunities: The external factors that can be exploited by an organization to its advantage. These can include emerging markets, industry trends, technological advancements, or changes in consumer behavior.

    4. Threats: The external factors that could potentially harm an organization's performance. These can include intense competition, economic downturns, legal or regulatory changes, or negative publicity.

    5. Trends: The ongoing changes in the business environment that can impact an organization. These can include demographic shifts, cultural preferences, political developments, or environmental factors.

    What is a SWOT analysis in ecommerce?

    A SWOT analysis in ecommerce refers to the evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an ecommerce business. It is a strategic planning tool that assesses the internal and external factors that can impact the success of an online business.

    1. Strengths: These are the internal factors that give an ecommerce business a competitive advantage. It could include a strong brand reputation, unique product offerings, efficient supply chain, loyal customer base, or advanced technology infrastructure.

    2. Weaknesses: These are the internal factors that put an ecommerce business at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. It could include limited resources, lack of brand recognition, poor website design or user experience, inadequate customer support, or high operational costs.

    3. Opportunities: These are the external factors that can be leveraged to drive growth and success in ecommerce. It could include emerging market trends, new customer segments, technological advancements, partnerships or collaborations, or changes in consumer behavior.

    4. Threats: These are the external factors that pose challenges or risks to an ecommerce business. It could include intense competition, economic downturns, changing regulations or laws, cybersecurity threats, or negative reviews or feedback from customers.

    By conducting a SWOT analysis, ecommerce businesses can identify their strengths to capitalize on, weaknesses to improve, opportunities to pursue, and threats to mitigate. This analysis helps in formulating effective strategies to enhance the overall performance and competitiveness of the ecommerce business.

    What is SWOT analysis and examples?

    SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or a project. It involves identifying internal and external factors that can impact the success or failure of the organization. Here are some examples of SWOT analysis:

    1. Strengths:
    • Strong brand reputation
    • Skilled and experienced workforce
    • Efficient supply chain management
    • High-quality products or services
    1. Weaknesses:
    • Lack of innovation
    • Limited financial resources
    • Inadequate marketing efforts
    • Poor customer service
    1. Opportunities:
    • Expanding into new markets
    • Growing demand for the product or service
    • Advancements in technology that can improve operations
    • Strategic partnerships or collaborations
    1. Threats:
    • Intense competition
    • Economic downturns
    • Changing consumer preferences
    • Legal or regulatory challenges

    It is important to note that SWOT analysis should be regularly reviewed and updated as the business and market conditions evolve.

    What is the weakness in SWOT analysis?

    One of the weaknesses of SWOT analysis is that it can be subjective and biased. The analysis heavily relies on the perspective and judgment of the individuals conducting it, which can lead to limitations and inconsistencies in the findings. Additionally, SWOT analysis does not prioritize or weigh the importance of each factor, making it difficult to determine which areas require more attention or focus. Moreover, it tends to be more focused on the present situation and may not adequately consider future trends or external factors that could impact the organization.

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