Our Story

For the past 60 years and more, De Jagers has been synonymous with exceptional quality and friendly service. This family business is as much a part of Worcester as its excellent wines. But considering the business’s decades of success, it is hard to believe that Worcester merely became its birth place by chance.


It all started in November 1954. Japie de Jager came from Keetmanshoop to Kuils River to visit his cousin Frikkie and Frikkie’s wife Babs. The 27-year-old Japie wanted to travel to Stellenbosch too, to look for possible locations for a store of his own. The three De Jagers set off without delay. Their search yielded nothing quite to Japie’s liking (in specifications or price range) and they extended their search to nearby Paarl. Here, too, their efforts were in vain. It was Babs and Frikkie’s suggestion to consider properties beyond the Du Toitskloof mountains (“anderkant die berg”, as the Afrikaans expression goes). Japie wanted his store not in Cape Town itself but also not too far from the Mother City where he would have to source stock. Worcester did not disappoint. The location of the premises may not have been ideal – it was somewhat removed from the central business district – but both the layout and purchase price met Japie’s requirements. Without letting time go to waste, they visited PA Venter the very same day to order a service counter, shelving and other basic shopfitting supplies. Before the day was over, Japie signed the lease agreement as well.


Japie’s enthusiasm was contagious to such an extent that Babs soon resigned from her job to open a shop of her own. The Kuils River shop was established in 1955, initially focused on women’s wear. Japie’s Worcester store officially opened its doors on March 1, 1955. One year later, Frikkie followed in the footsteps of his wife, resigning to open a store in Stellenbosch. This store would later be sold to Japie upon Frikkie’s return to farming in 1970.


Japie’s blue Volkswagen bus was a well-known sight in Worcester. Every now and again it would find its way to Cape Town, where Japie first picked up Babs before going to the factories to replenish their stock. Only the best possible quality was good enough for the De Jagers. But competitive prices were equally important, as much of their sales were to the farming community. Because of the small scale and limitations of their business, Japie and Babs often had to contend with cheaper available products. Furthermore, a choice of different dress sizes was almost unheard of: Stock was purchased in bulk, taken to Kuils River and split three ways. And that’s how the Worcester store obtained its tongue-in-cheek nickname of yesteryear. “Japie Rejects” is fortunately a name long forgotten.


In 1963, Japie married Johanna Janse van Rensburg who also joined him in the business. It wasn’t long before he spotted a gap in the school uniform market as parents often had to visit up to four different stores just to complete a single outfit. Japie decided to fill that gap. In 1972 De Jagers started selling school uniforms and the business soon became known as a one-stop fashion and school wear store.


The next generation De Jagers took the reins in 1996. Jobre, Andries and Pieter were able since to build on the solid foundation which Japie had laid. Thanks to its consistence in good customer service and quality products, De Jagers has expanded into a group of 24 branches across the Western, Southern and Northern Cape. Andries, his staff and thousands of loyal customers look forward to the future and every challenge and success it may bring.

Our History

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