According to the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC), to survive and thrive in this constantly changing world, businesses must realise that evolution is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s a necessity. But evolution is not a complete change, it is rather growth from where you were, to where need to be in order to remain relevant.
Consumers are now largely responsible for the current retail transformation. They have the buying power, and they’re getting more defiant. But SACSC CEO Amanda Stops says “This is a good thing! It keeps us on our toes and ensures we keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not.”
“The Congress provides the perfect platform for those in the Shopping Centre Industry to network, exchange ideas, and gain valuable insights into where the retail world is headed,” she adds.
Retail industry trailblazers, exceptional shopping centre designers and retail marketers will be celebrated and recognised during the Congress at the SACSC Legacy, Retail Design and Development and Footprint Awards respectively.
Over 1,300 delegates will gather for three days in the Mother City to learn how the retail industry is transforming from a host of local and international speakers.
First in the line up of speakers is author and internationally renowned consumer futurist, Doug Stephens. He paints a bold vision of the future where every aspect of the retail experience as we know it will be radically transformed. From online to bricks and mortar, the very concept of what stores are, how consumers shop them, and even the core economic model for revenue, will be profoundly reinvented.
An example is how mobile commerce has become a worldwide phenomenon; customers are now shopping at home, in stores and on the go, no matter where they are in the world. Offering outstanding personalised customer experiences has also become essential. The lines between the online and offline channels are now especially blurred. Today’s shoppers are all about “retailtainment”: shopping is now a leisure activity they truly enjoy.
Serial entrepreneur, author and investor Jonas Kjellberg will speak on Social and Creative Innovation: New Business Models for a New Generation. As one of the founding partners of Skype, Kjellberg was part of one of the internet’s biggest businesses – a simple, innovative idea that has gone on to revolutionise and disrupt the telecommunications sector. He will share what kind of innovative thinking is needed for success and why some good ideas and companies make it while others do not.
Who would have thought that an idea from a 16-year-old boy, living in the rural province of Limpopo would change the lives for 2.5 billion people worldwide who do not have access to clean water? Within six months, Ludwick Marishane devised a formula for his product DryBath, a gel that does all the work of a bath without the need for water.
Marishane, who founded Headboy Industries, will outline how retailers can thrive in the technological future. He says that the modern human/customer has been evolving for 250,000 years, but they’ve spent less than 500 years of that buying from shopping centres. He will explore what the industry needs to be mindful of in order to evolve in a way that can thrive in the technological future, while also being founded on a uniquely African and humanised context.
Also in the line-up of speakers is trendspotter and futurologist Magnus Lindkvist, while Fatti CEO Adrian Maguire will challenge landlords to empower tenants so that they can assess, monitor and improve the heartbeat of shopping centres. Jessica Davies, senior disruption analyst at Nedbank, will expand on how emerging technologies are accelerating change across every industry and as such, how companies need to constantly evolve and adapt.
The rest of the speaker list includes Cecilia de Corral from Design /Build Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, Michael Hinshaw from McorpCX, GG Alcock of Minanawe Marketing and author of KasiNomics and Third World Child), Corniel van Niekerk from Deloitte Consulting, John Ryan from Retail Week, David Donde of Truth Coffee Roasting, Jasper Eales from Sealand Gear, Jeremy Gardiner from Investec Asset Management and Thebe Ikalafeng of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership Group.
Malcolm Horne, group CEO at Broll Property Group, headline sponsor of this years’ SACSC Congress said “At Broll, we see a very close alignment with the theme for this year’s Congress as we pride ourselves on being on the front line of all things progressive in the corporate real estate industry. “
“We are thrilled to be involved in a Congress that will provide delegates with tangible information that will enable them to transform so that they can enjoy continued brand support,” added Horne.