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Business is blazing - 14 Apr 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Just when it seems like things are slowing down for the autumn and its ubiquitous holidays, someone turns the heat back on. And I'm not talking about the heatwave we had in Cape Town over the weekend. read more

Winter warner - 7 Apr 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] For those who missed it, there were reports of snow on the mountains around Ceres on 2 April, and no, it wasn't some kind of belated April Fool's joke (did you spot the prank release, though?). This early dusting certainly feels like a "long, cold winter" warning; time to start putting away the shorts and flip-flops, and pull out the coats and boots. read more

Whining and wining - 31 Mar 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Well, it's that time of the month again... That time to go rushing off to your local petrol station to fill up your tank before midnight tomorrow. read more

Gearing for growth - 24 Mar 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Autumn has arrived, and with it, the minefield of school and public holidays. Of course, this is usually a good thing as far as retail is concerned, but we'll have to wait and see which way this weather drives us - home or in-store. read more

On the winning track - 17 Mar 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] The 2014 awards season is well underway and in the circle this week, we have the winners of the Product of the Year Awards and the TAJ Classic Wine Trophy. Tetra Pak is also celebrating its iF Award win. read more

What you need, what they want - 10 Mar 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] After all this talk of Pravin Gordhan's speech the other week, some SMMEs might think they're too small to bother to compile a formal budget; Gerrie van Biljon tells us otherwise. But one needs to have money in order to manage it. David McWilliam explains that keeping loyal customers is a more profitable option than winning new ones, and helps us understand customer behaviour through analytics. One new development that has gone a long way to understand customer behaviour is Nedbank and iMobilise Transportation Systems' new PocketPOS device. read more

Budgets and business boosts - 3 Mar 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the 2014 budget last week, and those with vices will, as usual, be paying more for their sins. The wine industry, however, didn't take as hard a knock as spirits in the liquor trade. read more

Stormy weather ahead - 24 Feb 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Retailers appear to be battening down the hatches for a bleak winter... Last week, Edcon announced it will start retrenching staff this May in order to lower operating costs, while Naspers said it intends to shut down several of its ecommerce sites. read more

Bizness of trends - 17 Feb 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Following on the trend of big industry moves, Edcon announced, last week, it has appointed a new CFO - Toon Clerckx. read more

Moving and shaking - 10 Feb 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Some big moves in the industry this week: first, Taste Holding's has been so pleased with Marcel Strauss's leadership of The Fish & Chip Co., it's been decided that he will head up the company's new chicken acquisition, Zebro's. Woolworths today announced that Christo Claassen will be taking over as MD of clothing and general merchandise from Brett Kaplan, who is planning to retire this year after an admirable 37-years with the company. In other news, the annual SACSC Research Conference will be taking place in Sandton this April, British Airways has launched a new credit card in conjunction with MasterCard, and there's new opposition to Foodcorp and Oceana's merger. Have a love-filled week! read more

Interesting times - 3 Feb 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] The glow on the faces of many new homeowners dulled a little last week as the MPC decided to up the repo rate, the interest rate rising along with it. Banks expect consumers to exercise increased caution, while a cycle of interest rate hikes could see bad debt levels rise. These fears don't seem to be slowing down the restaurant industry though, with Ocean Basket eyeing global expansion and Taste developing a palate for chicken. read more

The competitive hook - 27 Jan 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Major retailers have been let off the hook, as the Competition Commission issued a notice of non-referral on Friday, following an investigation into long-term supermarket lease agreements. Meanwhile, the Competition Tribunal last week heard arguments from the Commission and merging parties Foodcorp and Oceana about the terms of sale of Foodcorp's fishing business. read more

Sales and solutions - 20 Jan 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Statistics SA posted November's retail trade sales data last week, and while the figures look pretty perky, economists don't expect these levels to be sustainable. Retailers confirmed this with the release of their individual Christmas sales figures. read more

The Salticrax month - 13 Jan 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] With some of us (myself included) taking a little extra time out and only stepping back into the office today, let's see what the first full week of the New Year had in store for us... Car sales struggled through December and annual export sales did not reach expectations. Retail stocks are also feeling the strain of tightened consumer spending. On the shelves, the Agricultural Product Standards Act is now prohibiting the sale of immature avocados. January feels like a particularly long month, financially speaking, and as a friend of mine so aptly dubbed it, "the Salticrax month". read more

Here’s to a great 2014 - 7 Jan 2014

[Rod Baker, Content Director] 2013 ended sadly, with Madiba's passing, but that means that we can now go into 2014 with the hope that this year will be better than the last. We in the media have the Protection of State Information Bill hanging over us; Jacob Zuma has only to sign it into law, but that in itself will, we're sure, provide for some very interesting times this year and possibly into the future, because it is almost certain that the law will be challenged, right up to the Constitutional Court. South Africa is fortunate in having a vibrant and independent media (apart from some notable exceptions) and that should ensure that any government hoping to hide the truth will face a long, hard battle. So let's head into 2014 in a positive frame of mind - even if in years to come, some may look back on them as "the bad old days". Today sees the first of our newsletters for 2014 and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all... read more