Edgars clients told to switch or lose benefit, Newsline

DURBAN – Edgars account holders who have insurance cover stand to lose their benefit if they fail to switch to monthly debit orders by the end of the month.

The retailer told its customers in an email (seen by the Business Report) that the move was due to the sale of parts of the retailer’s former parent company, Edcon, which went into business rescue in April. It said the sale included Edcon’s credit business.

Edgars offered a new premium and no waiting period for the switch.

“As a valued customer, we are happy to tell you that your insurance cover will continue if you choose to switch your payment method from your Edgars Account to a monthly debit order. Our new policy administrator, IUA Business Solutions, who are affiliated with The Hollard Group, will be managing this process with us over the next few weeks,” reads the email.

The Competition Tribunal this month approved the sale of parts of Edgars to Durban’s Retailability subject to certain employment-related conditions.

The sale included the transfer of about 120 stores in South Africa together with the businesses conducted therein.

Edcon’s business rescue practitioners said the transaction underlined the compatibility between Edgars’ and Retailability’s strategic intent, infrastructure, and value chain.

“We are pleased by the significant saving of approximately 5200 jobs as well as the continued commitment to the retail industry, economy, and the sustainability of the South African Edgars brand,” they said.

They added that the parties would continue to co-operate and work towards concluding the sale of Edgars’ businesses in other jurisdictions in Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho and Namibia where regulatory approvals and conditions precedent remained outstanding.

Retailability chief executive Norman Drieselmann said the Edgars cover would remain.

“A deal between RCS, Hollard and ourselves has been concluded to ensure collection of premiums via the Edgars Account card,” said Drieselmann. “IUA will be assisting with customer service as we migrate from the Edcon infrastructure to our own.”

Drieselmann said the insurance would continue to be underwitten by Hollard. “This is why we are able to ensure continuity of the insurance product,” he said.

Edcon was not immediately available for comment.

Competition Commission spokesperson Siyabulela Makunga said the insurance cover did not arise during the merger assessment.

“The commission approved a merger between part of the Edcon debt book and Nimble and the sale of stores to Retailability. The terms of the insurance contract between Edcon and clients was not part of the Retailability merger,” said Makunga.