Cracking e-commerce and sustainable fashion - 19 Mar 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The DHL E-commerce MoneyAfrica conference kicked off in Cape Town on Wednesday, offering attendees two jam-packed days of insights relating to all things e-commerce. I bring you feedback from Jonathan Neumann's keynote on how to crack e-commerce conversion. read more

Seamless retail - 12 Mar 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The annual Seamless Africa conference kicked off in Cape Town last week, serving up a healthy dose of professional advice and inspiration from leaders in retail, payments and fintech. Forming part of the retail track, Ralph Lauren's Samantha Starmer presented on the topic of 'Store 4.0', sharing her thoughts on how the future of retail is the smart integration of physical and digital. Meanwhile, retail consultant Frans van der Colff explained why cultural nuance and the concept of community should inspire store design in Africa, and Action Gear's Warrick Kernes shared his winning recipe for customer service. The second edition of Mastercard's Index of Women Entrepreneurs was once again released on International Women's Day on 8 March. read more

Food and beverage under the microscope - 5 Mar 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Dominating local headlines since yesterday, the source of the world's largest Listeriosis outbreak, which has claimed roughly 180 lives since January last year, has been traced to an Enterprise Foods facility in Polokwane. An RCL Foods factory in the Free State also tested positive for Listeria, but samples from this facility are not the same strain that is causing the outbreak. read more

All eyes on African fashion - 26 Feb 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] In continuation of our SA Menswear Week coverage, I report back on the Fashion Talks segment which saw a handful of industry mavens share the social trends impacting the business of men's fashion in Africa. I also chat to Anthony Smith, founder of Cape Town streetwear label 2Bop, about the brand's new Autumn/Winter 2018 range, its community of brand advocates and how to balance creativity with the business of fashion. read more

Sentimental Valentine’s spending and SAMW - 19 Feb 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] With many celebrating the sentiment of Valentine's Day with their significant other this past week, Mastercard released its annual Love Index, which showed that South Africans continue to say "I love you" by investing in experiences over material goods. Sentimental spending has increased by 50% since 2015, with the number of e-commerce transactions increasing by 990% between 2015 and 2017. SA's fashionable crowd gathered in Cape Town's City Hall last weekend for the bi-annual South African Menswear Week (SAMW). read more

Tackling unemployment through procurement - 12 Feb 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This week, Danette Breitenbach reports from the launch of the seventh Buy Local Summit and Expo presented by Proudly South Africa. The event promotes local procurement as a means to tackle South Africa's concerning unemployment rate, which now stands at nearly 28%. Meanwhile, I chat to brand manager Malose Mabusela about the aim and uptake of the Bar One Gym Squad, a growing initiative that invites township communities in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and the Free State to get active through free and frequent workout sessions. In other top news, e-commerce platform Mall for Africa has expanded to 11 eleven new African markets, Pick n Pay has promised ongoing innovation in its convenience and ready-made meals range in 2018, and Wipro SA's Garth Meier details how digital integration is opening up a new world of opportunities in the retail sector. All that and more. read more

Mitigating the effects of Day Zero - 5 Feb 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] As Day Zero looms in Cape Town, many businesses have pledged their support to help mitigate the impact of the water crisis. Among them are bottled water companies, who will no doubt experience an uptick in sales as concerned consumers stock up. read more

#BizTrends2018 wrap-up - 29 Jan 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Nearing the end of January means we've started wrapping up our annual #BizTrends2018 feature. Headlining this week, Dion Chang from Flux Trends takes us through the new rules of retail while Maryla Masojada shares Part 2 of Trade Intelligence's grocery retail trend report. The topic of food safety also featured in a number of headlines this week. read more

Back in business - 22 Jan 2018

[Lauren Hartzenberg, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] With school holidays officially over most businesses are back in full swing. In top news this week, The Coca-Cola Company has pledged to drastically cut plastic packaging waste by 2030, and former Shoprite Holdings CEO Whitey Basson is back in business on the Clover dairy group's board. FreshStop's Joe Boyle unpacks the top trends for convenience retail in 2018 while clothing retailer Ackermans predicts that the body positive movement will be a major influence in ladieswear this year. Shaneev Boodoo from BMi Research explains how manufacturers in the beverage market have had to rethink their strategies in order to maintain sales volumes in an economic slowdown. read more

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

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