The new Stuttafords Emporium, home of Africa's first standalone Banana Republic, was launched at Cape Town's Cavendish Square last night. Hosted by Stuttafords CEO Hilton Mer, the event included a fashion show by models and celebrities Dieter Voight, Tracy McGregor, Roxy Louw, Ty Keogh, Tanya Neft, Leigh-Anne Williams, Tracey Lange, and Nicole Flint.
Constructing the store, which is now 60% bigger, took two months. Altogether, Stuttafords now occupies 5000m² and offers over 200 brands, including four individual outlets for Banana Republic, Gap, French Connection, and Oaktree. "The design of the emporium offers a holistic shopping experience," Mer explained. "Each area of the shopping space flows into the other and one feels oneself drifting through the 'World of Brands', which is the Stuttafords credo."
Additional brands now include Iman, Tommy Hilfiger leisurewear elements, Metallicus, Saville Row, Ted Baker, Stenstroms, Lyle & Scott, 46664, Sagaform, Define, Stephen Cole, Sergeant Pepper, Villeroy & Boch, and many more. "We are very careful about selecting the right brands to satisfy our target audience and take into consideration age, uniqueness of product, quality of product, price points, and brand image and desirability," Mer said.
Renewed and refreshed strategic direction
"The new and leading Cavendish presentation of Stuttafords embraces the renewed and refreshed strategic direction successfully implemented in the group," Mer continued. "Over the past 18 months or so, we have trodden the path of upgrading the look and feel of our stores, which is a work-in-progress programme, and have consistently introduced new brands while retaining stability as well. We aim to satisfy the middle end of the market all the way to the top."
Stuttafords has been an occupant of Cavendish Square since the mall's inception in 1972, but Mer believes the launch of the Emporium marks the dawn of a new era. "The residents in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, and many from further afield, will be able to enjoy an unparalleled shopping sensation," he said. "We trust that our investment will also pave the way for other leading retailers to complement our offerings and to once again refresh the Cavendish Square Shopping Centre into the leading mall in this territory."
Eugene graduated from the University of Cape Town with distinctions in financial accounting and classical piano. He then spent over two-and-half years working in branding and communications at two of South Africa's top market research companies. Eugene also spent over three-and-a-half years at an eLearning start-up, all while building his business as an award-winning writer.
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