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Edcon and Italtile partner in financial services offering

24 August 2006

Edcon and Italtile have announced their collaboration in offering a revolving credit facility to Italtile's CTM customer base with immediate effect.

The "CTM Easy Style card" is a branded private label credit option for customers, which will be funded, managed and administered by Edcon, recognised as a leader in the administration and execution of financial services and consumer credit.

CTM is South Africa's foremost retailer of tiles, sanitary-ware and related products, providing a high quality, value-for-money offering to the DIY and volume markets. CTM trades through 82 stores in Africa, 66 of them situated nationwide in South Africa, with a further nine stores planned for the forthcoming financial year. 

Italtile group Chief Executive Officer, Gian-Paolo Ravazzotti says: "We trade in a buoyant sector which continues to experience exponential growth as the middle class burgeons. The CTM brand enjoys strong equity and aspirational value, and this credit offering is aimed at reducing the barriers to entry and improving access to our product for consumers."

"However," says Ravazzotti, "key to this model is a responsible lending philosophy. We are satisfied that in Edcon we have a partner with the experience and expertise to fulfill this mandate."

Edcon's Financial Services Executive, Ian Wood, says: "Edcon will manage the entire credit process from assessing and granting credit, funding the book, as well as offering the related customer services such as call centres, credit and collections activities."

"In choosing to partner with us on this initiative Italtile/CTM benefits from Edcon's proven track record. We already successfully manage the risk associated with 4.1 million credit and store cards of Edcon customers and we have been providing a similar service to Tiger Wheel & Tyre since October 2004."

Edcon will earn a management fee for the service provided. The contract lasts for an indefinite period.

CTM/Italtile and Edcon both trade in the merchandise retail environment and have customers in common, which will facilitate cross-marketing opportunities and expansion of the existing relationship over time.                                         

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