Trade Tatler
“More than ever before, consumers have the ability to unify their voices and coalesce their buying power to influence corporate behaviors.”
Simon Mainwaring


THIS ISSUE:     11 May - 17 May

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Boxer  And in the Western corner…

Boxer continues to head West, opening its second store in the Fairest Cape last week in the heart of Mitchells Plain’s Town Centre. A Pick n Pay store for close on 40 years, the spot was renovated in just over a month, opening its doors as a shiny new Boxer to the loyal Mitchells Plain community. The store boasts the immaculate flow, space and value-adds that we have come to expect from Boxer Discount supermarkets and brings the Group’s tally to 234 Boxer stores nationwide. For a take on the grand opening from our very own on-the-ground reporter, click here.
Comment: Light-footed stuff there from the champ, who continues to bob and weave its way across SA.

Tatler Reporter 15/05/17

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Clicks  Screen time

In order to keep you loitering suspiciously at the pharmacy counter, or perhaps to increase your impulse purchases of corn plasters and reflux meds, Clicks have introduced to 250 of their stores a snazzy digital signage network, with 150 more stores to be come by October. All well and good – it’s their cash, and goodness knows they’ve enough of it for a few flat screens. What’s interesting is this, from the business which is installing the network: “We have found that infomercial-style content that features information on pharmaceutical products, health-related facts, as well as health and lifestyle products and services, retain customers’ attention and result in higher dwell times of 49 seconds, with an average attention time of 21 seconds, resulting in a conversion rate of 91%.” 
Comment: Stranger than fiction? You decide. Although it would be interesting to know what exactly that conversion rate covers.

Tatler Reporter 09/05/17

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Retailers  I knew the broad was trouble when she walked in

The Competition Commission’s investigation of this great sector we call home is galloping up to the finish, with public hearings underway in the Cape right now and in Gauteng and KZN in the next couple of months. The Comish, you may recall, “has reason to believe that there are features present within this sector that may prevent, distort or restrict competition”. Such as, for instance, that this sector is freakin’ awesome! Just kidding, LOL! It’s that, inter alia, the Commission is uneasy about entry of national supermarket chains into the townships; the impact of long-term exclusive lease agreements; and the impact of buyer groups on independent retailers, all of which will be discussed at these hearings.
Comment: The scale of our retailers does indeed make it difficult for the little feller to earn a crust. But this is a bug (or a feature) of capitalism globally, rather than something endemic to the industry in question. 10/05/17

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Woolworths  Fast and loose

More on Woolies’ new NOW NOW fast food adventure. Being Woolies, the offering is of course super-healthy, with light meals and snacks, coffee from beans sourced exclusively in Africa, and such hipster fare as wraps, bowls, pots and buns… wait a minute, that’s disgu… oh, not man-buns, the other kind… and lots of gluten-, dairy- and wheat-free options. There are also smoothies and juiced "shots" of the sort that momentarily give you the shakes and make you feel all hyper and energetic until you realise that that’s just the effect of having forked out R20 for something you could have scraped from the underside of your lawnmower for free. And all of this, you will be happy to know, is achingly on-point vis-à-vis the global trend of queuing up for salads while checking Tinder on your smartphone in a howling southeaster.
Comment: Nice one, Woolies. We’ll join that queue any day.

The Times 14/05/17

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Unilever  One World

With continent-sized patches of plastic waste drifting around the world’s oceans, much of it produced as disposable packaging by manufacturers of consumer goods, this industry bears a unique and terrible burden of responsibility for the state of the world. Some businesses are shouldering this burden, and Unilever is unequivocally one of them. Having pledged to ensure that all of its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, Le Grand Bleu has just announced the pilot of a scheme called CreaSolv® Process, by which the plastic from single-use sachets will be recovered and used to create new sachets. This at a time when the burgeoning popularity of small packs in developing economies adds dramatically to the hundreds of billions of packs which enter the global ecosystem every year.
Comment: The world in which we live is every company’s biggest shareholder. The companies which acknowledge this reality are those which will truly succeed in the difficult times ahead.

The Independent 12/05/17

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Business and Government   Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me.

Bringing an adult voice to the current conversation, Mark Lamberti has expressed the view that the next 18 months will be pivotal in the future of South Africa. “We're facing binary situations here. There is no grey,” he intones. “Either do the right thing and turn South Africa around, or we’re in for a terrible time.” He also reveals that business and senior people in government and the labour movement are speaking with each other more candidly than at any time in the past about the challenges we face. Business, he argues, is not the problem: “84% of the people employed in this country are employed by the private sector, (and) the bulk of the taxes that support 17million people on social grants come from people who work in the private sector or from the taxes those businesses pay,” he says. 
Comment: When Don Marco speaks, we listen.

The Times 14/05/17

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Fresh Stop  Stop the presses

Big new Fresh Stop at Sefako Drive in Pretoria North, yo, check it out if you’re in the area. 24/7, fresh Seattle coffee and doughnuts, 5 ATMs, hot dogs and biltong literally on tap, the works. And the store has created 30 new jobs for local people, which always helps.

Tatler Reporter 15/05/17

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Adcock Ingram  Good muthi

Keeping its head down and sticking to the knitting right now is Adcock Ingram, which has just expanded its Germiston plant’s capacity to produce 2 billion capsules and tablets a year, thanks to a R470m state incentive to keep it local. Rather than scalping sick people with insane price hikes on generic meds, unlike some people we could mention.

Business Day 10/05/17

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Shoprite   The Wisdom of Whitey

One of the very great joys of publishing the Trade Tatler has been our access to the wit and wisdom of Whitey, whose words we have shared with you occasionally for the better part of a decade. As his career draws to a close, these occasions are all too rare, and we must snatch them as we can:

On Retirement Plans: “I’m first going to sit back and look at this pile of cash.”
On Things He Will Not Do With His Pile of Cash: “I have no ambition to buy a big yacht or have a second wife.”
On Hope: “I may not be as optimistic as I should be, but I haven’t found a better place to raise my children and live.” 11/05/17

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Coca-Cola  Excellent news! No, literally. As in, news about someone called Excellent.

Coca-Cola has just sold 17.5% of its stake in Appletiser to black investment outfit African Pioneer Group (APG), and a further 4% to long-time Coke employee, Sipho Excellent Madlala. Sometimes the headlines really do write themselves. Other times, we have our people do it for us.

The Mercury 10/05/17

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Food Lover’s Market  Erratum

Last week we reported incorrectly that Food Lover’s Market will be partnering with Tru-Fruit in feeding the hungry. The correct name is of course Tru-Cape. We apologise for the mistake, and thank those friends who drew it to our attention.

Tatler Reporter 17/05/17

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