Top takeaways from CEM Africa and PMA Fresh Connections - 21 Aug 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The continent's brightest minds in customer experience gathered in Cape Town last week for the CEM Africa Summit. I bring you the key takeaways from the Spree keynote titled 'Empowering customers to interact with your brand', and Louise Marsland reports on embracing a CX ‘citizen first' strategy in government and how traditional siloed structures are breaking down to enable a culture of customer-centricity. read more

Saluting phenomenal women in business - 14 Aug 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] While 9 August marked the official Women's Day in South Africa, we're dedicating a full month to fabulous females breaking boundaries in business. In today's top story, I interview none other than fashion doyenne Marienne Fassler. Ahead of her collection showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg later this week, the award-winning designer and businesswoman shares her thoughts on the evolution of SA's fashion industry. read more

The rise and fall of big retail brands - 7 Aug 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Fashion brands have been seeking growth through mergers and acquisitions. Two weeks ago Michael Kors agreed to buy British shoemaker to the stars Jimmy Choo for an approximate $1.2 billion, and now Canadian shoe company Aldo will be acquiring the Camuto Group. read more

Acknowledging the societal responsibility of corporates - 31 Jul 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Headlining our newsletter letter today, and catching the tail-end of our #CSIMonth focus, is an interview with Zanele Njapha, Diageo SA's acting corporate relations manager. In it, she details the alcoholic drinks company's approach to corporate social investment and specifically how it fulfils its responsibility of combating alcohol misuse and promoting responsible drinking. Shifting focus to retailers, Pick n Pay announced the launch of its online distribution centre in Gauteng. read more

Learning to stay afloat - 24 Jul 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This week we have some expert advice to assist those in South Africa's competitive retail space with keeping their heads above water. Val Nichas and George Bourdos from VBN Consultants discuss how value-added services and in-store staff that display a genuine interest in their customers can yield meaningful consumer experiences and ultimately repeat business. On the franchising front, a number of international brands have expressed interest in the South Africa market, which will inevitably cut into local brand share. Abigail Makhubele from Absa Business Banking shares the ingredients that she believes can give local brands the edge. According to a new report by Cushman & Wakefield, there has been rapid global growth in consumer spending on eating out, and the tie-in between shopping and eating is stronger than ever. read more

The new business imperative - 17 Jul 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Corporate social investment is no longer a nice-to-have, it's a business imperative that impacts the sustainability and livelihood of our environment, its communities and business in general. Tania Morgan-Weyer, the MD of pet food manufacturer Promeal, shares with us the company's sustainability ethos and some of its efforts in addressing waste management, energy and water efficiency, and then some. In the same vein, Sindy Peters interviews Eugene Absolom, director of the Tiger Brands Foundation, on the company's in-school breakfast programme which recently served its 50-millionth meal. In today's top story, investment firm Long4Life has announced its acquisition of beauty salon chain, Sorbet. read more

#Homesewn efficiency and franchising excellence - 10 Jul 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] In today's top story, the first instalment in our #Homesewn series, you'll learn how Cape Town-born outdoor apparel brand K-Way has not only made vast improvements to its production efficiency but has also played a part in addressing South Africa's unemployment crisis. I interview Bobby Fairlamb, the company's manufacturing team leader, who spearheaded K-Way's application of the lean manufacturing system, which has been instrumental in the factory's award-winning success. Speaking of local success stories, the Franchise Association of South Africa honoured the best in South African franchising at its recent Awards for Excellence in Franchising. read more

Welcome to CSI Month - 3 Jul 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] July is here (already) which means the start of Bizcommunity's #CSIMonth content focus. Keep an eye on our special section for news, reviews and interviews with brands prioritising sustainability in their social, environmental and economic goals. Speaking of sustainable business, eco-concious and natural beauty brand The Body Shop has been sold by cosmetics giant L'Oréal to Brazil's Natura Cosméticos for a reported €1 billion. read more

Spur's quintessential South African success story - 26 Jun 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Startup Grind Cape Town's featured guest this month [[ was Allen Ambor]], the energetic founder and executive chairman of Spur Corporation. As the quintessential South African restaurant chain turns the big 50 this year, Ambor reflected on its humble beginnings in Newlands and the tough love leadership he demonstrated to his employees. read more

Digital ups retail relevancy - 19 Jun 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] It's been widely documented, technology allows business to better understand their customers and deliver products, services and communication in line with what the customer wants. It could be argued that the new age of retail is very much digital first. Dion Chang and Sue Morris from Flux Trends state that technology is paving the way to a retail future that we have not even begun to imagine yet. read more

Fashion for the future - 12 Jun 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This past Friday saw the launch of TCI Apparel's design centre, created with idea of sustainability at its core. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, the building boasts a low carbon footprint, solar power, living walls and a veggie garden that's used to feed those working there. read more

Local brands with bold moves - 5 Jun 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The Good Food and Wine Show excitement has just about settled in the Mother City. Despite its usual celebrity chef drawcard, the annual foodie event also brims with local brands - old and new, big and small - showcasing their latest and greatest produce. read more

Celebrating continental excellence - 29 May 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Africa Day is celebrated on 25 May to mark the formation of the African Union (AU). But for many on the continent, the day is used to highlight and celebrate African success stories in a much broader sense. read more

Are our shopping malls future-fit? - 22 May 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] I flew down to Johannesburg last week to attend the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) Research Conference, an annual event which highlights and dissects trends impacting the retail industry. I've brought you coverage on two of my favourite talks for the day. read more

Cape Town a hotspot for food, beverage sector - 15 May 2017

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] In today's top story, the City of Cape Town believes the region to be a competitive hub for the food and beverage manufacturing industry, in part due to its geographical location, growing consumer population and strong skills base. In other must-read news last week, the Competition Commission launched an investigation into the country's biggest retailers (Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Spar and Woolworths) following claims that they've have developed a chokehold on the grocery retail market. The headlines didn't stop there for Shoprite, which is being forced to repurchase R1.8bn worth of shares from former CEO Whitey Basson. read more

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