Trade Tatler
"The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved."
Richard Rogers

TATLER ARCHIVE

THIS ISSUE:     07 Jul - 12 Jul

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RETAILERS AND WHOLESALERS

Roundup  Building momentum

Shoprite continue to lean on the tried and tested strategy of value, to keep customers loyal in these troubled times, sometimes in very specific terms: the business has either subsidized or frozen prices on 6,793 tons of sugar, 8.3million litres of cooking oil, 3.4million litres of milk, 16,118 tons of maize, 9,555 tons of rice and 144.1million loaves of bread since April 2016. This among a far-reaching range of measures to keep prices low and offer value in the face of the VAT increase and the seemingly endless rise in the fuel price. Doing right by the planet, SPAR and Pick n Pay both went all-in on the recent International Plastic Bag Free Day initiative. And Massmart, driven by a boom in the construction sector in those countries and poor availability of building supplies, has plans to open six new Builders Warehouse stores in Kenya, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia, over the next two years. Builders, you will remember from last week, is one of the high spots in Massmart’s business at the moment, and a reliable contributor to both profitability and growth.
Comment: Good work all round, from a sector doing its bit to keep the dear old SA economy afloat.

Tatler Reporter 10/07/18

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MANUFACTURERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS

Roundup  Wax on, wax off

SC Johnson’s Kiwi Shoe Polish is the winner of the 2018/2019 Kasi Star Brands awards, which recognise products most loyally used by township consumers – an indication, say pundits, that township consumers no longer base their expectations on product quality, value for money or pricing, but on their emotional experience with the brand. On the whole, however, brand loyalty is on a downward trend in those historically fraught, yet still dynamic suburbs. Advocates for Blockchain are pointing to the travails of Tiger Brands in the recent Listeriosis outbreak as an argument for the technology’s potential in improving safety in the food value chain, where traceability can be improved from a current gold standard of six days and some change, to just two seconds using the incomprehensible digital ledgering system. And finally, Rhodes Foods is putting some serious energy into marketing its eponymously-named Rhodes Quality range with the recruitment of celebrity chef and food stylist, Zola Nene for its online 'For the Love of Winter' campaign.
Comment: It does indeed warm the cockles of ones South African heart to hear of an iconic brand like Kiwi being recognized by the people who count: the shoppers themselves.

Tatler Reporter 10/07/18

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TRADE ENVIRONMENT

The Economy  Do us a favour…

In what seems to us an unprecedented turn, government is asking business – in our very specific case manufacturers, retailers and logistics providers – to foot the bill for increases in VAT and the fuel price, absorbing these mark-ups rather than passing them on to the consumer. This form, no less a personage than Good King Cyril, who has instructed the ministers in charge of the various clusters to “embark on a programme of engaging with the business sector and find ways to ameliorate" the additional costs associated with these measures. "We want to make a call to retailers, and particularly food processors, [to] hold back from imposing increases, particularly on food items and items that people use on an ongoing basis,” he says, using the royal pronoun. “Also those who are involved in the transport sector, who are tempted to increase prices, to hold back."
Comment: The sentiment is noble, but this is not how an economy works.

Business Times 08/07/18

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IN BRIEF

International Retailers  I bless the chains down in A-africa

Lest you think it’s just us, a Listeriosis outbreak traced to frozen corn has claimed nine lives in Europe, and 43 frozen food products have been recalled by retailers Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland. And in news of international retail with a more local impact, Carrefour, having opened its fifth Kenyan store in April, is throwing down the gauntlet in that promising geography, with its expanding middle class, to our own dear Shoprite, which currently has plans for seven new stores in-country. And that’s a wrap.

Business Times 01/07/18

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