Games CEOs play - 5 Oct 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This week saw Ralph Lauren step down as chief executive of the international holding company, with his successor Stefan Larson taking the mallet. Locally, Woolworths Holdings announced the appointment of John Dixon as CEO of David Jones, to replace Iain Nairn from Janurary 2016. Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto, explains the R1.1bn makeover of The Pavilion shopping centre in Durban as announced at the SA Council of Shopping Centres' (SACSC) 19th Annual Congress. read more

A love affair with electronics - 28 Sep 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Despite a slight decline in its performance year-on-year, Woolworths has again topped the RepTrak Pulse reputation survey, with Pick n Pay and Shoprite coming in at a close second and third, respectively. Euromonitor International has released new data on the global consumer electronics industry, indicating that wearable electronics are 'the next big thing', while the dynamic growth of tablets suddenly comes to a standstill. The Innovation Group's latest trend report serves as a snapshot of the latest innovations and what they reveal about the food and drink consumers of the future. read more

E-commerce Awards takes centre stage - 21 Sep 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This week, Truworths is in the spotlight, having announced plans to buy the UK's Office Retail Group, making it the latest South African retailer to pursue offshore expansion, and its first foray into the European market. At the 10th annual E-commerce Awards, held on Wednesday evening, Yuppiechef and Takealot stole the show with two wins each. read more

How are you innovating? - 14 Sep 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Woolworths Holdings announced another appointment this week. Gail Kelly will join the board as a non-executive director effective from next month. read more

A good laugh and all smiles - 7 Sep 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Douglas Kruger introduces his 'Relentlessly Relevant' series with lessons on innovation from a Soweto street vendor who offers run-over bunny chow - yes, "the man will wrap it in wax paper, hurl it onto the highway and wait for a truck to drive over it at 120 kph ... if you ask nicely." Based on his new book, Kruger begins to unpack practical ways to innovate and become wealthy as a result. read more

Local retailers up their game - 31 Aug 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Top story this week was the announcement by Woolworths of its decision to remove all sweets and chocolates from its checkout aisles. The roll-out will start with all new Woolworths stores, as well as large format stores. read more

'S' is for Studio.W and Soda Bloc - 24 Aug 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This week saw two major fashion retailers launch a private and new brand respectively: Woolworths Holdings launched Studio.W at David Jones, to be rolled out across all 38 stores over the next few weeks, and The Foschini Group (TFG) has launched Soda Bloc, the first entirely tween-focused brand in South Africa. TFG will open 11 Soda Bloc stores across the country before the end of the year. For the Women's Month special section, Sindy Peters interviews 'momtrepreneur' Sedeeqa Kalam, founder of Organic Baby, on juggling motherhood and running a start-up in online retail. read more

A Stikeez situation - 17 Aug 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Pick n Pay and specialist industry editor and columnist, Louise Marsland found themselves in a Stikeez situation on Friday... Marsland retweeted a link to a blogger's post about the teeny rubber toys called Stikeez that PnP are giving away with every R150 spent. In response, the retailer responded by telling her to delete the tweet because it was "highly inappropriate" content. read more

All the right moves - 11 Aug 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Group Editor (@Biz_Retail)] For our Women's Month special section, I interviewed Marlene Bester, the only female master distiller in South Africa. She said, "I was perceived to be the marketing girl ... read more

Happy Women’s Month - 3 Aug 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Group Editor (@Biz_Retail)] What an exciting week for retail as Leigh Andrews and I wrap up our coverage of the CEM Africa Summit with some key take-outs, such as Prelini Udayan-Chiechi from Bazaarvoice - a network that connects brands and retailers to the authentic voices of people where they shop - on consumer-generated content and the new consumer economy, and a panel discussion on how to keep your customers happy. Chris Moeryk says South African retailers are missing massive profit opportunities in this regard. read more

Delightful customer experience - 27 Jul 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Group Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The CEM Africa Summit, held in Cape Town on 22 and 23 July, saw over 25 key industry players present keynotes, partake in panel discussions and facilitate workshops on customer experience, coverage of which will continue to be published this week. Leigh Andrews gets the ball rolling with the advisory panel opening on future trends and disruptive innovation and the influence this should have on customer experience management today. read more

Hello Frappuccino - 20 Jul 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Group Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Following Taste Holdings' announcement that Starbucks stores are soon to open across South Africa - starting with a Johannesburg café due to open early next year - Michael Wood raises concerns about the global brand's long-term sustainability, arguing that successful coffee shops have to create a total social experience based on attractive and inviting environments, innovative products and high quality service. Sane Mdlalose explains the post-2000 shift in consumer experiences and perceptions and advises how brands can maintain customer loyalty under the circumstances. Then some firsts for SA: Nedbank is the first South African bank to offer a big data service, more specifically, a data analytics tool that records customers' shopping behaviour, as well as income segmentation, gender and age demographics; and South Africa's first true escrow service, powered by Standard Bank, has been launched to provide a seamless and secure online purchasing experience. read more

All about customer experience - 13 Jul 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Group Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This week Amanda Stops, CEO of the South African Council of Shopping Centres, discusses four universal trends that are driving retail across the globe, namely customer experience, technology, adapting to change and leadership. Loyalty is another common theme, according to a new research report by GI Insight, which looks at how loyalty schemes can have a powerful impact on the outlook and actions of consumers in the age of big data. BMi Research CEO Gareth Pearson says that combined with big data, loyalty programmes have the potential to provide customers with a non-genetic value proposition that resonates with them personally. read more

Step downs and step ups - 6 Jul 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Group Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Tuesday alone saw two major international fashion icons step down, namely Donna Karan of DK International and Nike's chairman Phil Knight. Out of 140 steakhouses competing for the Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships, it was Little Havana in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal that claimed the top honour while two-times winner The Local Grill in Parktown North, Johannesburg was judged the 2015 Runner-Up. read more

Fashion, fashion and more fashion - 29 Jun 2015

[Jessica Taylor, Group Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This week, I interview Relate CEO Neil Robinson on why social enterprise is changing, and Rolf Akermann explains why honesty is the best policy when it comes to packaging. In the world of fashion, African Fashion International announces that Mercedes-Benz has renewed its title sponsorship of Fashion Week for another three years, that it has appointed Tribeca Public Relations to manage all media interactions, and that the Cape Town event is moving to the V&A Waterfront. The search is on for Elle's next rising star. read more

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