Naspers’s Spree and Media24’s Superbalist to Merge into New Online Fashion Platform

Media24 will be the 51% owner of a new venture which will arise from a merger between Naspers-owned online fashion retailers Spree and Superbalist, the media company and Takealot announced on Monday.

The merger of the two businesses into one entity seeks to create a “larger, more focused and economically sustainable platform on which to build a substantial online retail, footware and apparel business”.

This is only the latest major development for Naspers in the e-commerce space after it has made inroads in building up a cash war chest from partially selling its recent e-commerce investments, including China’s Tencent and India’s Flipkart.

Takealot CEO Kim Reid said the merger presents an opportunity to accelerate growth in its online fashion retail business locally. Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman said e-fashion remains central to the business’ growth portfolio to ensure a diversified and sustainable future for Media24.

“There is currently no integration between Spree and Superbalist, both part of the Naspers group, with each business running its own sourcing and buying, technical, marketing, warehousing and logistics functions while primarily targeting a similar, if not the same customer segment and demographic in South Africa,” the statement said.

“In South Africa the penetration of online retail sales is currently around 1%, while in the USA, China and the UK it is in excess of 13%. Clothing and footwear sales in the UK drive a large share of the growth of online retail with similar trends in the USA, China and India.

“This suggests that there is room to build a substantial position in the online footwear and apparel market in South Africa,” the statement said.

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