H&M faces backlash - 15 Jan 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Swedish retailer H&M faced backlash last week after an advert showing a little black boy wearing a "coolest monkey in the jungle" hoodie was labelled as racist. The ad, which has since been removed, came under fire on social media and drew criticism from a number of local personalities as well. read more

Gear up for the year with #BizTrends2018 - 8 Jan 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] 2018 is here and so is our annual BizTrends focus. Keep an eye on our special section which will be updated with exclusive content to help you prepare your business for the year ahead. In this week's trend highlights: • Mobile means more e-commerce opportunity than ever before: Mark Mahoney, Aramex SA • The in-store experience - an opportunity for brands: Caroline Currie, The Clarion Group • Six trends shaping the shopping mall experience: Camilla Lor, Canal Walk • Coffee will continue to influence the world: Jonathan Robinson, Bean There Coffee Company In other news, I recently sat down with Alfred Cointreau, 6th generation scion of the Cointreau family, to chat to him about his role in preserving the legacy of the 168-year-old liqueur brand. read more

2017 in review - 18 Dec 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] With the end of 2017 fast approaching, our #BestofBiz retail roundup reflects on the year that was with lists of the stories, contributors and press offices that garnered the most attention from you this year. Meanwhile, looking back at Black Friday, Jainita Khatri asks whether the increasingly popular shopping extravaganza was a win for SA retailers with a particular focus on Takealot and Superbalist. I report back on Brett Kaplan's insightful talk on the 'Apparel Retail Landscape' at the recent ATF Trade Exhibition held in Cape Town. read more

Steinhoff scandal rocks retail - 11 Dec 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The corporate scandal involving global retailer Steinhoff International dominated headlines last week. The company's CEO Marcus Jooste resigned amid information that came to light relating to accounting irregularities that required further investigation. read more

Welcome to the festive season - 4 Dec 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] December signals the start of the festive season, but we also bid farewell to two jam-packed months of entrepreneurship features. To conclude the content focus, I sat down with Ntombenhle Khathwane from local natural haircare brand, AfroBotanics, who shared with me the highs, lows and learnings of her small business journey, from manufacturing in her garage to occupying prime retail shelf space. I also chat with So Interactive's Letitia Lerm in this week's top story, about the #TheArtOfFusion brand campaign conceptualised by the agency for popular seafood restaurant chain Ocean Basket. read more

SA retailers embrace Black Friday - 27 Nov 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Last week saw customers and retailers readying themselves for the biggest shopping day on the Western calendar, Black Friday. We looked at how the occasion is gaining popularity locally, its impact on e-commerce website traffic, and Stefan Salzer from BCG South Africa shared tips for consumers and retailers in preparation of the day. In other top news, I chatted to Leaders in Trade Exhibitions member Deidre Harte about her experience organising the ATF Trade Exhibition and co-located China Premium Tex this year. read more

SA buys into Black Friday - 20 Nov 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The Black Friday and Cyber Monday mega-sales present an opportunity for consumers to save on Christmas shopping and allows retailers to boost sales and move stock before the festive season hits. With the shopping occasion of the Western world kicking off on 24 November, we've rounded the top local deals from SA retailers to be aware of. read more

Smart sipping with Castle Free, risky fast food stocks and sustainable fashion - 30 Oct 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] To assist in fostering a culture of responsible drinking, SAB and AB InBev have launched SA's first locally-brewed, alcohol-free beer called Castle Free, set to hit shelves in mid-November. The alcohol-free brand allows consumers to practice 'pacing', which refers to complementing the consumption of alcohol beers with alcohol-free beers as a means of moderation. In other top news, Taste Holdings and Famous Brands have issued grim trading updates. read more

#EntrepreneurMonth with Weylandts and Mami Wata - 23 Oct 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Who better to speak on leading in the retail game than Weylandts CEO Chris Weylandt? Jessica Tennant reports on Weylandt's keynote at the Business of Design conference in Johannesburg, during which he shared his design business journey and what the furniture and homeware retailer does to create its high-end store environment. I also interviewed Weylandt as part of our celebration of African entrepreneurship. He comments on the state of furniture/homeware design in South Africa and how it compares globally, and on expanding the business from Namibia into South Africa and Australia. Also featured in our Entrepreneur Month focus is Mami Wata, an uber-cool premium African brand of surf apparel and accessories with an undeniable global appeal. read more

E-commerce enablers and loyalty leaders - 16 Oct 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] [[http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/394/168719.html#topstory Aramex's Global Shopper courier service]] is not only reaping the benefits of the rise in cross-border e-commerce, but it's acting as an enabler of it. I sat down with the company's manager of e-commerce services, Mark Mahoney, to hear about the insights he's gleaned through the service and its growing adoption in Africa. read more

Industry disruptors and brand winners - 2 Oct 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Rounding out September's #InnovationMonth content theme, today's top story introduces you to Biltong Board, a small business disrupting South Africa's biltong industry. I sat down with founder Maxime Eon recently to hear all about how the company links biltong lovers with over 70 producers of quality biltong product and his exciting plans to open a dedicated biltong bar in Cape Town's city centre this summer! We also have the full winners list from the 2017 Sunday Times Top Brands survey. read more

Consumer spending trends and retail innovation - 26 Sep 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This week, Danette Breitenbach reports back on the launch of the South African Mastercard SpendingPulse Report, an early indicator of consumer spending trends. Among the key finding is that consumers are no longer buying goods; instead they are spending their hard-earned cash on experiences. read more

SACSC Congress highlights and Pricecheck Awards - 18 Sep 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The 21st SACSC Annual Congress wrapped up on Friday after three jam-packed days of insights from retail industry leaders from around the globe. A highlight this year was the attendance of Britain's best-loved food writer and TV cook Nigella Lawson. I interviewed her during an intimate media briefing during which she shared her relationship with food, the appeal of publishing and television as mediums for storytelling, and her thoughts on the linkage between culture and cuisine. Also hailing from England, spirited retail futurist Howard Saunders presented a keynote titled ‘The Future is Scary', delving into some of the interesting shifts we're experiencing in consumer mindset and retail brand innovation. read more

Messe Frankfurt acquires trade shows, Shoprite found guilty - 11 Sep 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] In today's top story, trade fair giant Messe Frankfurt has acquired South Africa-based trade shows Source Africa and ATF. Messe Frankfurt takes over from LTE, which has been in the trade show business for over 25 years. read more

Franchising bucks the trend, farewell to Women's Month - 4 Sep 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] FASA has just released the results of its franchise survey, which suggest that the franchise sector continues to be a possible silver lining in a dwindling economy. Lots of interesting facts and figures to be pored over. read more

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