Trade Tatler
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”
Dave Barry



THIS ISSUE:     24 Sep - 30 Sep

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Dis-Chem  A Heartwarming Story of Love and Franchise

Clicks-baiting mega-chemist Dis-Chem, having gone all Pty last year, and expanded all over the place has pulled another one out of the proverbial hat: franchise! Three franchise stores – in Nelspruit, PE and East London – have been added to the 37 company-owned stores. According to the Saltzmanns, who founded Dis-Chem in 1978, the only limit to Dis-Chem’s growth has been the shortage of skilled and committed managers – hence the move to franchise, where entrepreneurs grow on trees. Touchingly, the first of Dis-Chem’s eleven approved franchisees are a couple who met while working the graveyard shift in the aisles at Dis-Chem. Dis-Chem’s recent move into centralised distribution now makes that much more sense.
Comment: Although the new Consumer Protection Act is going to make life tricky for franchisors, defining franchisees as customers, which gives them the freedom to shop wherever they want.

Tatler Reporter 28/09/09

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Zim  Where the Lion Feeds

Men of the African soil Pick n Pay and Shoprite are sizing up for a showdown in the savannah as they eye the newborn Impala and sickly Wildebeest of the Zimbabwean grocery market. While Shoprite is painting Africa red, don’t discount the wily old lion that is Pick n Pay – they’ve been operating in Zim for ten years with a 25% holding in TM Supermarkets, the country’s largest chain with 37 outlets, and are keen to open more outlets under the Pick n Pay and Price Rite brands. And Shoprite, as you know, is going after OK Zim, the second largest chain with a value of US$241million. In the meantime, Morgan Tsvangirai has suggested that rugged South African Investors are the sort our wild and untamed continent needs.
Comment: Her green eyes blazed. “You are most arrogant man I’ve ever met,” she said. Taking her roughly by the wrist...

The Zimbabwean 23/09/09

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Unemployment  Oh, that recession

The “Recession, what recession?” days are formally over with the unveiling of StatsSA’s employment numbers for the second quarter, which reveal that 253 000 jobs were lost in the first six months of the year, bring formal employment outside of agriculture down to 8.25million. The year on year decline of 2.3% is the biggest decline since the year 2000, and has effectively wiped out half of the jobs created since 2006. The only sector actually creating jobs in this time has been the government. The good news is that while year on year the picture is bleak, the rate of job losses slowed in the second quarter – 67 000 compared with 187 000 in the first quarter – suggesting that the recession may be loosening its deadly clutch on our economic jugular.
Comment: Behind the numbers, hundreds of thousands of hungry people.

Business Report 23/09/09 Business Day 23/09/09

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Inflation  Confused? It’s economics, you fool.

Consumer Price Inflation, according to the gong-bashing acolytes at StatsSA, has come off another 0.3 of a % to 6.4%. This according to the discredited pariah’s down in Economics means that inflation could be within the 3-6% range by the end of the year, and goes some way to explaining why Uncle Tito didn’t pony up another five bob the last time he came to visit. Food inflation in particular was down – 19.5% at the start of 2009 to 5.9% now for processed foods, due to weak demand, low inflation internationally and a strong rand.
Comment: Which is why you’ve noticed these dramatic price drops down at the grocer’s ... what haven’t?

Sapa 22/09/09

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Woolworths  We used to work for Cosmo, you know

The Woolworths Summer Beauty festival – think special offers and gifts with purchases from a range of international fragrance houses and jetsetting beauty brands – has just four days left to run – so sashay on over to one of several of their posher stores – think Canal Walk, Gateway, Melrose – for free makeovers, goodie bags and a chance to win one of Paris Hilton’s own chihuahuas!
Comment: Delete Comment

Tatler Reporter 30/09/09

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Shoprite  Where secret recipes stay secret

The Shoprite Checkers Championship Boerewors Crown competition is under way, menere. To date, 1100 wannabe sausage-manglers have been put through their paces by a panel of 342 judges who jointly have sampled the juicy goodness of 44 000 pieces of boerie. On 19 September, 87 of the best battled it out round the half barrels in the provincial rounds, and now we’re down to the last desperate ten, who just looking at names and surnames are a culturally homogenous grouping, although there are a couple of vroue in there too. We await the results with bated tastebuds.

Tatler Reporter 30/09/09

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Unilever  The shower scene

Big news this week has been the offer by Le Grand Bleu internationally to buy the Personal Care business of Sara Lee Corporation for €1.275billions in crisp notes. Personal Care is a strategic growth category for Unilever, who will be taking delivery of such squeaky clean brands as Sanex and Radox, local competition authorities permitting.

Bloomberg 28/09/09

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Nestlé  Amoozing Grace

Grace Mugabe’s cows are proud providers of milk to Nestlé, you will be pleased to know, to the tune of up to a million litres per annum. While there are economic sanctions against the Mugabe regime, Nestlé’s international HQ is in Switzerland, home of bitter chocolate and ill-gotten wedge, and these apparently do not apply there.

The Times 28/09/09

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Carrefour  Bonjour Kamerad

French retailer Carrefour (“They call it ‘Le Pic n Pay’ over there”) has opened its second store in Mother Russia, and is keen to pursue further acquisitions on the icy tundra, where, it turns out, they like packaged consumer goods and regular shopping hours in a pleasant, modern retail environment as much as the next fellow. That “queuing for potatoes in the snow” stuff was apparently some sort of a cold-war smokescreen. Devilish. 28/09/09

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