Editor's column

Fashion and food trends - 28 Jul 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Last week saw the release of Brand Finance's Top 50 most valuable South African brands, as well as the opening of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town. If you missed the fashion shows, check out some of the creations from KLuK CDGT's collection here. While a lack of sales is an obvious reason for the failure of small businesses, Brad Sugars looks at the reasons behind poor trade. Speaking of sales, Woolworths has finally been granted the unconditional purchase of the Australian Country Road brand. And finally, in research, Philips has released its research report on eating trends and favourite foods during Iftar, throughout the month of Ramadan. read more

Three strikes and they're out? - 21 Jul 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] This must be the only country with a 'Strike Season' - with strikes too often being accompanied by intimidation, violence (including murder) and destruction of property. The automotive industry is no stranger to strikes, but now David Furlonger asks whether it's all not becoming a dangerous gamble for the SA motor industry? Unions seem convinced that multinational motor companies are too deeply embedded in SA to walk away. read more

Small operators can take on big gorillas - 14 Jul 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Big companies hold many of the cards, but not all of them. read more

Pop-up shop for the homeless goes global - 7 Jul 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Good news on the CSI front is that The Street Store, a local pop-up shop for the homeless has gone global - from China to Cape Town, Brussels to Bangladesh, Florida to France, Mexico to Melbourne. Whether you use the service or not, you're still paying. read more

Tapping into the unbanked - 30 Jun 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] While official retail figures indicated a slowdown in growth recently, there is a part of the economy that is flying under the radar, which could attribute to up to 40% of retail spend. This is the cash economy, or 'grey money' sector, that is created by people earning and trading in cash which never goes through formal systems such as a banks. read more

Time to incentivise - 23 Jun 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Although retail trade sales for April came in better than expected last week, the 1.8% year-on-year growth is certainly no reason to put up our feet and relax. Consumers are still under pressure and we need to keep working on novel ways to keep them coming back. read more

Present and future retail success - 9 Jun 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] Over this last week, Laine Barnard has had a look at the story of the African consumer, as well as discussed the future of sustainable retail design in Africa. Callie van der Merwe told delegates of the 4th annual SACSC Research Conference how consumer behaviour effects design decisions. read more

Know your shoppers inside out - 2 Jun 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] The days are noticeably shorter; the air, clearly colder. With the obvious inclination to stay indoors during winter, the question arises: will shoppers flock to the malls, or will they shop from the comfort of their couches? The GIBS Primedia Unlimited Retail Shoppertunities study offers some insights into what draws consumers into malls, how to get them into your store and keep them coming back. read more

Crystal ball of retail - 26 May 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] When out shopping, it's unusual to find me not using my phone. Whether it's just for basic price/quantity calculations, snapping pictures for a friend's opinion, or for something more online intensive like store or brand price comparisons and product reviews. read more

Creating the sale - 19 May 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] All right, so you've set up the "Sale" and other digital signage, the cardboard product cut-outs and the POP displays; now all there is to do is sit back and wait for consumers to buy the goods on promotion. But they're not. read more

The tipping point - 12 May 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] We're not even halfway through the year but in retail, it seems it's never too early to start planning for the festive season. Marketing strategies, new products and, of course, service. Last week we had a look at the importance of good service. read more

Voting for service - 5 May 2014

[Shan Radcliffe, Group Head - Retail (@Biz_Retail)] As the country celebrates 20 years of democracy, with Freedom Day held last Sunday, 27 April, the CGCSA's Gwarega Mangozhe took a look at what the consumer goods industry has achieved during this time. Wednesday will mark the last of this week-after-week stretch of public holidays, when people make a mark of their own. Election day can be compared in some ways to a customer service survey - the theory is to vote for the party that provides the best service delivery (although in practice, we all know it's a little more complicated than that). read more

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

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