Trade Tatler
“Urban farming is not only possible, it is crucial.”
Homaro Cantu


THIS ISSUE:     06 Apr - 12 Apr

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Independent Trade Forum  State of Independents

In two weeks’ time the luminaries of the Independent Trade (or traditional trade as many refer to it) will gather for their annual meeting of minds, and if you have any interest in this vibrant and growing pillar of economy – accounting for over 35% of grocery retail turnover – you need to be there. The Independent Trade Forum (ITF) is a supplier briefing designed to inform effective and profitable trading relationships between suppliers and their key independent wholesale, retail and informal trade customers. It’s a communication stage and exhibition experience which provides a rare opportunity for sales, marketing, supply chain and other non-customer facing managers and execs to engage directly with the CEOs and executive leads of SA's major independent wholesalers and retailers, as well as a chance to chat face-to-face with traders, hawkers, shebeen owners and main market township shoppers. The lineup this year includes strategic input from UMS and ICC, a report from the World Retail Congress, and more. Click here to secure your spot – seats are limited to 250!
Comment: At the ITF you’ll gain valuable insights from the independents into their value propositions, shopping habits and behaviors of main market shoppers and opportunities for supplier stakeholders. Don’t miss it!

Tatler Reporter 10/04/18

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SPAR  Island style

Very occasionally, barely ever really, we let something slip through the cracks, and thus it was with SPAR’s surreptitious entry into … anyone? Anyone? Sri Lanka! Pay attention now, this involved a JV and you know how tricky those can be: last year, it seems, SPAR International, granted the licence to Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL) to operate the SPAR brand as SPAR Sri Lanka in a joint venture with SPAR Group Ltd South Africa. The plan is to open 20 stores in the first five years, starting with one soon to open in the lush Colombo suburb of Thalawathugoda, which a simple Google Images search will show you is fairly posh, and which Wikipedia says is packed to the gills with expats and local gentry. It should not surprise you to know that modern retail in Sri Lanka is in its infancy, with just 20% penetration. Local retailers are ramping up their efforts to see off the threat, with Cargills promising 80-odd new stores in the next few years and Keells Super about half that number.
Comment: A bold play from the verdant one, whose most recent foray into countries beginning with S was in Switzerland.

The Daily Mirror 05/04/18

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Shoprite  Comings and goings

Shoprite CFO Marius Bosman, says the Big Red One, will retire in June – a story you may expect to see down in the In Brief section. But this being Shoprite, it’s a bigger deal than that. Mr Bosman, you see, had worked under Whitey Basson for 25 years, and there are those among the analysts who are saying this retirement signals a conclusive end to the Basson era, and a signal that Pieter Engelbrecht is putting his stamp on the business and making his own appointments. That may be something of a stretch – Bosman had, after all, only been appointed as FD in 2014. The new appointment is Anton de Bruyn, who has been with the Group for 15 years, most recently as deputy general manager group finance, so he’s hardly a new broom. And Bosman will stay on as a consultant to wrap up the financials through June.
Comment: In our next life, we’re going to come back as a financial analyst. You can say anything with impunity, and then they throw big handfuls of cash right in your face.

IOL 06/04/18

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Woolworths  Step. Away. From. The. Chequebook.

There is absolutely no truth in the rumour, according to Woolworths, that they’re in talks for the acquisition of the department chain Myer, chief rival to David Jones, the still-troubled retailer Woolies bought a couple years back. According to News Corp Australia, Woolies has held talks with Myer to discuss a possible merger. Woolworths? “These rumours have no basis. We are not considering an acquisition of Myer and there have been no discussions regarding an acquisition with advisers or between the two companies.” This is what we call rum. Back home, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed a complaint about a sticker on some Woolies’ Valentine’s Day chocolate hearts, which read ‘No Sugar Added’. The pack in fact contained 7.8g of sugar per 100g due to sugar naturally present in the ingredients. Woolworths said the claim complied with the regulations of the Foodstuffs Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, which defines “added sugar” as any sugar added during processing, and that these chocolates were not sold anymore since they were only part of a Valentine’s Day promotion.

Comment: OK Woolies, here’s our thinking: don’t buy another Aussie retailer, and next time, take of the d#mn sticker – those are two hills not worth dying on.

Kamcity 06/04/18, The Times 06/04/18

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Consol  They’re ba...aaaack

For the past 11 years, Glassmaker Consol – they of the iconic jamjars – has been in the hands of a bunch of bloodthirsty private equity groups. They’ve shaken free, however, and are rushing back into the manly arms of the JSE, where their relisting is likely to raise as much as R23.7bn. The investors, led by Brait, brought the business for R6.1bn in 2007, so it has proved a tidy little earner. The plan from hereon in, according to CEO Mike Arnold, is to grow aggressively on the continent – it already operates in Kenya and Nigeria, and is opening a factory in Ethiopia. In other packaging news, rival Nampak is trying to flog its glass division, which seven years in has demonstrated it has neither the scale nor the expertise to run properly. An obvious buyer would be Consol, although the Competition Authorities are unlikely to roll over on that one.
Comment: That’s quite the week in packaging, which has been awfully quiet for how long now? And welcome back Consol!

IOL 05/04/18, Business Day 04/04/18

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IMPERIAL Logistics  Wheels within wheels

Going big into pharma this week is IMPERIAL Logistics, which has just picked up a 70% stake in Namibian-based CB Enterprises, whose clients include leading businesses in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and personal care space. The idea, says IMPERIAL chief strategy officer Cobus Rossouw, is to leverage IMPERIAL’s expertise in forecourt and pharmacies to develop a “resilient, profitable, multidimensional, diversified business.” On other IMPERIAL-related news, CEO Mark “Don Marco” Lamberti is in a spot of hot water for referring to an experienced chartered accountant as a "female employment equity candidate." Adila Chowan was fired in 2015 following allegations of misconduct. The resulting furore has exploded on social media and led, ultimately, to Lamberti’s resignation from the Eskom board – but not from his position at IMPERIAL.
Comment: A stain on an otherwise impeccable career.

Business Day 09/04/18, 04/04/1

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VAT  Passing the buck

The VAT increase is going to hurt South African consumers hard, particularly in our country’s poorer areas, and the big retailers are scrabbling to shield their shoppers from the worst of the effects. Some have already started passing the cost on to – you guessed it – suppliers, while others are – however temporarily –  absorbing the increase themselves. In the former category is Choppies, from which we await the postponed financial results with anticipation; in the latter is SPAR, which announced last week it would absorb the VAT increases for more than 1,500 of its private-label products for three months. “We are hoping to reduce this final cost through an increase in overall business,” says SPAR CFO Mike Godfrey. Shoprite has said it would look at subsidising products that were bought by price-sensitive customers, and will run a VAT subsidy through April by discounting 12 products, including products like cereal and coffee. Pick n Pay is paying the government the full 15% on some items, but continuing to charge punters the usual 14%.
Comment: A blend of pragmatism and humanity, as you’d expect from these excellent businesses.

Business Day 08/04/18

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International retailers  Rock bottom prices

In Germany, Aldi is teaming up with department chain Karstadt, in whose Hamburg store basement the discounter will shortly be setting up shop in a deal calculated to drive footfall for the former and, um, footprint for the latter? Over on mud island, in the meantime, Tesco have come under fire from angry Brits for reducing the size of the soft drinks they serve with their meal deals in order to meet the requirements of the new sugar tax, but haven’t reduced the price of these meals. Not a good look Tesco, and surely your publicist could do better.

Tatler Reporter 09/04/18

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Massmart  A river runs through it. Well, not actually, obviously. Although that would be a great idea.

Nice work from Massmart whose Makro Riversands store took gold in the department store category of the prestigious global ‘Shop!’ design awards. Makro is in good company, with winners in other categories including KFC and Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Nice work Riversands, with its cathedral-like interior space, glowing fridges and massive signage which make it truly stand out. Have a look for yourselves, here. 

Tatler Reporter 09/04/18

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Trends  How green was my valet parking?

Mixed-use developments have, let’s face it, been around for a couple of decades now, at least since Tongaat Hulett started casting about for ideas for its spare canefields. But equally they’re still very much a thing, as Menlyn Maine in Pretoria demonstrates, a mega development which is set to become Africa’s first green city, with 315,000m2 of lettable area including office space, retail and dining, a gym, upmarket apartments, a luxury hotel, an entertainment complex and scenic parks. And then there’s Cotswold Square in Durban’s rapidly-urbanising Outer West. Opening in early 2019, Cotswold Square will be a 40-store centre in an area that combines golf-estate living with small industry, schools, churches, church schools and equestrian centres, a place where, as developers are fond of saying, people can “live, work, play and pray.” Kind of like, um towns? But greener and with more fences?

Tatler Reporter 09/04/18

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