Sterling Clothing Manufacturers (Pty) Limited was formed in June 1932 as a CMT operator in downtown Johannesburg. In 1935 the ‘Sterling’ brand was established. Gradually the family business evolved into the Sterling Group and by 1942 the famous safari suit originated.
In 1953 the factory premises was moved to a larger landmark building called “Sterling House” which was leased in Pritchard Street in Johannesburg. In 1966 part of its production was moved to Durban. In 1987 the Company name changed to Sterling Clothing (Pty) Ltd. In 1998 Sterling was acquired by A M Moolla Group Limited (now Kingsgate Clothing Group) as part of a strategic acquisition. The new owners thereafter relocated the business from Pritchard Street to Smith Street in Braamfontein.
Over the years Sterling Clothing has grown in leaps and bounds and today services over 350 customers in South Africa as well as its neighbouring countries.
As part of expansion plans, in 2003 Sterling relocated from Braamfontein to an ideally located property the Group purchased in Selby, Johannesburg.
More recently, in 2023, a further move was necessitated due to the rapid degeneration of the CBD and certain industrial hubs over the last few years. Safety and security are always a primary concern. Thus, as of April, in adapting to the ever-changing dynamics of the landscape, Sterling moved into Rosebank, which is considered an upmarket, safer, more central and convenient area to allow for easy access to its customers and employees alike.
Sterling has become an integral part of the Group’s Business Units serving as the Group’s Premier Business Unit and is renowned for its high quality clothing. Over the years Sterling has evolved to become much more than just a regular outdoor adventure brand by having branched out as a supplier of repute into basic, casual, leisure, golf, formal and corporate wear in its particular niche of the market.
Sterling’s success stems largely from an aggressive marketing strategy, ongoing advertising campaigns, and constant communication with customers, excellent service and emphasis on better quality products, at keen prices.
Sterling’s products are highly innovative, with almost 85% of its products manufactured in South Africa and Southern Africa. The balance is imported from overseas because these products cannot be manufactured locally, due to being highly specialised products that are made with superior fabrications that are not readily available in South Africa.
The Business Unit remains focused in satisfying its customers, which is indeed a recipe for an on-going successful story. Its focus is to grow its footprint and become a more prominent supplier of choice.
The men who started out and built this company may be long gone but the legacy they have left behind lives on in the Sterling Clothing of today.
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