[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] December has arrived and while Bizcommunity was celebrating the end of the year on Friday, Menlyn Park Shopping Centre celebrated its R2bn makeover. At the relaunch event, Gauteng transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi lauded the shopping centre for its integral transport facilities and involvement in the Bus Rapid Transport system to commence early next year.
Another cause for celebration is the arrival of Baskin-Robbins - the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops - in South Africa this Friday. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] With the increasing uptake of South African retailers adopting the American Black Friday craze, so the hype of South African consumers has seen related hashtags dominating the social media front. On Twitter alone, local Black Friday mentions grew 2,200% year on year, reports Meltwater.
Anton van Heerden, Executive Vice President: Africa & Middle East at Sage shares the pros and cons of Black Friday for small businesses. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Just a few days to go until Black Friday, the start of the festive shopping season, and retailers are readying themselves for the busiest shopping day of the year.
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre is reopening the day before, offering extended shopping hours, extra security and a park-and-ride service, expecting at least 100,000 customers on the day.
While e-commerce sites prepare for a surge in web traffic. Justin Drennan, co-founder and CEO of Parcelninja, says online retail in South Africa is set for a boom in the coming months, particularly this quarter, adds Thomas Pays, co-founder and CEO of i-Pay, in a release sent to Bizcommunity. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] As reported by AFP, Singles' Day, created by Alibaba in 2009, took place on Friday, seeing Chinese shoppers spend more than $1bn in the first five minutes. It's become the world's biggest online shopping promotion, surpassing the main US online spending spree - the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, in just one day of trading. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Last week Groupon announced that it has wound down its operations in South Africa, as part of a global shedding in an effort to "make the business more efficient", reports Andy Walker of Memeburn, who also explains what this means for any coupons you've not yet redeemed.
In other top story news, Whitey Basson will step down as Shoprite CEO at the end of the year. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] The mobile payment industry is quickly evolving to meet the growing demands of mobile users, "with more recognisable brands stepping into the industry to advance technology and offer what consumers and businesses want in terms of apps and services that allow them to pay with their phones". According to John Rampton in his article, 'The evolution of the mobile payment' on TechCrunch.com, it's anticipated that there will be more than 4.8bn individuals using a mobile phone by the end of 2016.
Moreover, consumers have come to expect a broad range of sophisticated technology features in their cars, such as Wi-Fi access, voice-activated controls, keyless entry and remote start and stop. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] In a must-read for any business, Wynand Smit, CEO at INOVO writes about slick complaint resolution tactics. His top tip is to implement customer satisfaction surveys to nip these in the bud before they're taken to the social media realm where thy risk going viral.
Leigh Andrews also rounds out her #BeyondRetail2016 conference coverage, with an overview of the final panel session. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Growth in consumer spending makes you wonder, 'Can retail save the South African economy?' This was in question at last week's #BeyondRetail2016 event, covering a range of views and kicking off with 'the economist's view' of Dr Azar Jammine of Econometrix. Leigh Andrews will share more of these over the course of the week.
According to developer Pareto Limited, the redevelopment of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre was driven by strong demand from retailers seeing robust trade results year-on-year. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] As promised, I interviewed Aisha Pandor of SweepSouth on being named both Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur and Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur at the recent PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards, while Leigh Andrews investigated how your website could be driving away customers.
Big news in the fashion sector is that Country Road Group is acquiring Australian menswear brand Politix, adding to Woolworths Holdings Limited's existing stable that already includes David Jones, Country Road, Witchery, Trenery and Mimco.
In other international news, Facebook launched a new online 'Marketplace' allowing over-18 users to buy and sell items with their online community. What's more is that from tomorrow MasterCard will enable its new biometric payments option, whereby shoppers can make online payments using the fingerprint scanner on their smartphone or via facial recognition tech by taking a selfie.
Sustainability is the theme this month, and I gave it a green light for Retail featuring a truly inspiring interview with Lush co-founder and product inventor Rowena Bird. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Famous Brands has made its first foray into the food service leisure sector, acquiring a 49.9% stake in the award-winning commercial catering company, By Word of Mouth. The intention is to expand the business' existing presence in the premium corporate market and establish its footprint in Cape Town and Durban. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] PriceCheck's inaugural Tech & E-Commerce Awards showcased pioneering new entrants and visionary e-commerce innovators, seeing Takealot.com scoop the coveted Overall Winner award, in addition to Best Customer Service and the People's Choice Award. Zando received two awards for Best Shopping Experience (Mobile and Overall), and Aisha Pandor of SweepSouth won Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur and Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Realising that the future of online shopping lies in mobile, Spree implemented a mobile app-first approach to improve the overall mobile user experience, thereby driving engagement and shopping on mobile devices, and increasing the mobile conversion rate. While Zeekit, an app that allows you to virtually (from your mobile device) try on outfits before buying online or in-store, launched last week. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Last week Vida e Caffè announced its development plans to expand into four more African countries. "Understanding that each country and culture is unique is imperative," comments Craig Gravett, business development manager for International and Corporate, on what he believes is the key to success. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Famous Brands has acquired 100% of the UK's Gourmet Burger Kitchen for £120m (approximately R2.1bn), marking "the biggest deal the group has ever concluded and one which will transform the future of the business", says Kevin Hedderwick, the company's group strategic advisor responsible for M&A activity.
Speaking of the future of business, this year's FNB Franchising Leadership Summit was about disruptive innovations, the key takeaway being: if you don't disrupt yourself, someone else will disrupt you. Go to our #Innovation Month special section to learn from people that are getting this right.
Sarah Collins of Wonderbag launched the Coalition of Action, using the product as a catalyst to unite communities and leaders across the globe to address many of the world's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and collaborate to end poverty by bringing a total solution of a better life to women in the rural world, connecting brands with data, lifestyle and prosperity.
Then for a more light-hearted take on how to find a 'right fit' between you and your business partner, Andrea Kleinloog, co-founder of Anatomy Design shares her and Megan Hesse' experience at the Johannesburg version of Business of Design. read more
[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Last week saw the Cape Town version of Business of Design 2016, one week on from the Johannesburg event. Leigh Andrews summarises Day 1 of #BODCT here, saying that a strong message for all attendees was to use these insights to create more impactful designs than ever before, in any industry. read more