School of Retail
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THIS ISSUE: 15 Dec - 12 Jan
As things in Nigeria turn nasty, with violent demonstrations over spiralling fuel prices and corruption, Shoprite has boldly announced to Nigerians its plans to open another two stores there in 2012, bringing its staff complement up from 700 to over the 1,000 mark, all of them locally sourced and trained. The Big Red One’s recently opened Ikeja branch has all the mod cons, including a state of the art bakery, fresh fish department, its signature embarrassment of cheeses from around the world and – a big win for Nigerians – a walk in fridge with all the booze you can drink. Another plus for denizens of that troubled West African giant is that Shoprite are doing a lot of sourcing from a total of 140 local businesses, ranging from mom and pop shops to the big boys.
Comment: Someone down in Brackenfell really, really likes cheese.
Business Day 21/12/11
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Starting the new year with a bang, Wakro have launched the third of their extended price cut promotions. The New Deal, as it is not being called, kicked off on Sunday last and will run for ten weeks at Makro, Game, DionWired and Builders Warehouse in categories spanning back-to-school, back-to-office and back-to-site in a nod to the strapped nature of everyone’s finances at this side of the year. That nice young Mr Pattison speaks in glowing terms of Walmart’s drive to deliver value to the consumer, and what it has meant for Massmart, but don’t believe us, here’s what he actually had to say: “An early Walmart success has been their ability to relentlessly challenge our buyers to become even more focused and energised to deliver and, more importantly, measure opportunities that they have identified to save customers money.” Comment: So there you have it. Incidentally, the first two promos saved punters an estimated R100million.
Tatler Reporter 10/01/12
Our grandson – the clever one, you remember, at Stellenbosch, with the fancy computer – tells us that Woolworths have just launched what is known as an f-commerce application on the Facebook. Woolies already have over 143,000 fans on their Facebook page, and now they’ve actually got something to do there, viz. buy stuff. Reading between the lines, it appears that what you can currently shop for are mainly items of homeware and clothing, but food is soon to follow. Historically, Woolies fans have been able to share their recommendations or “likes” with family and friends. F-commerce takes things to the next level, plugging into their online id and marketing directly to them while they should be doing an honest day’s work.
Comment: There is a whole new generation of shoppers, it seems, for whom being understood is far more important than that quaint outmoded notion we used to call privacy. And Facebook is where you will find them.
Business Times 10/01/12
In what may just be a canny bit of marketing, local beverage heroes Frankies Olde Softdrink Company are very publicly taking on Woolworths at the ASA for bringing out a range of fizzy drinkie winks that are slightly similar to Frankie’s own range, in that they are old fashioned in provenance and branding. The Dapper One is of course denying this, and to be fair vintage sodas with twee labels have been all over the show since the early nineties in the markets where businesses like Woolworths and indeed Frankies take their, ahem, inspiration. It’s unclear what Frankies have to lose, except to the customer who is saying to themselves: “What I feel like right now is an ice cold vintage soda, sort of thing that Frankies do, only here I am in Woolworths … but wait! What’s this?” etc.
Comment: In fairness, the two ranges do bear a passing resemblance, in the same way that neighbouring shops on the Midlands Meander selling bric-a-brac and scented candles do.
2012. Ooooh. The Mayan Calendar. John Cusack in a chauffeur’s outfit, flying aeroplanes through exploding cities. And now this: while beard-tugging economists are far from their usual sunny consensus on what’s coming our way, the indicators are that 2012 ain’t gonna be a walk in the park. As the world’s big economies mend their profligate ways, with austerity measures and upped taxes being put in place, there will be less to spend on fruit juices and raisins from developing economies like our own. A weaker rand might keep inflation, which should otherwise have come within its targeted band, under pressure. And the Reserve Bank, we are told, is likely to rediscover the heady thrill of upping interest rates sometime in the third quarter. All of this points to a weaker economy with stressed consumers who might be thinking longer and harder about those discretionary items come month end. Comment: And if you aren’t worried yet, you could always give some thought to Iran cutting off the world’s oil supply in the Strait of Hormuz...
The Times 22/12/11
Starting the new year with another bang, Pick n Pay have been kind enough to mention that they have signed up 0.8 out of every ten South Africans for their Smart Shopper loyalty programme, for a grand total of some 4million card-carrying members, a lot more than the Communist Party in its heyday.
Starting the New year with a third bang, for a total of three, would be the Men in Black, who reported sales up 15.2% to R31.6billion for the 6 months to December 2011, with comparable store sales up 9.2%. Massdiscounters’ sales grew by 11.5% with deflation at a worrying 5%, while Masswarehouse’s sales grew by 18.4% with inflation of 2.3%, Massbuild’s sales grew by 12.8% and Masscash sales grew by 16.5%. In a nutshell.
The Times 11/01/12
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