Stocktake: Retail gurus cook up new store concept

Fashion retail gurus partner with Old Mutual Property to hatch a new retail concept, EGG.

Fascinating collaborations are popping up during this time of crisis; and while it is sad to see many loved retail brands disappear, it is exciting to see the innovation that is on display, such as the new venture EGG, from YDE and Fabiani founders with Old Mutual Property; and the launch of the retail offering from the first JSE-listed cannabis company, Labat Africa.

Cavendish Square incubates new retail venture

In an innovative collaboration between Old Mutual and fashion retail entrepreneurs, Paul Simon (of Young Designers Emporium fame) and Arie Fabian (best known for building the Fabiani brand), a multidimensional sensory retail experience will launch at Cavendish Square in November in the 3800 square metres of prime retail space previously held by Edgars. The venture will reimagine retail says Sakina Nosarka, head of retail at Old Mutual Property. The 50-50 joint venture between Old Mutual Property and Simon and Fabian, “will provide a new vision of the future as retail pivots towards a more resilient and sustainable future”. This comes amid changing consumer preferences and in the disruption of traditional retail spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 3800 square metres of prime retail space previously held by Edgars on the first and mezzanine levels of Cape Town’s Cavendish Square, will be transformed into the ‘brick and mortar outlet’ of 240 emerging local brands, including Swiitch BeautyTshepo JeansFuata Moyo and Scheckters Raw  – offering shoppers fashion, food, streetwear, sneakers, soles, jewellery, wellness, accessories and beauty. To give business owners the best chance of success, the venture will provide SMMEs access to a full omnichannel platform, including ecommerce that is managed by EGG on behalf of each vendor partner. “In addition, vendors will receive business support with all live sales and stock tracking, merchandise management (storage, replenishment, visual merchandising ) supported on the EGG vendor platform – enabling SMMEs to manage their stores remotely,” says Simon.

Following on the Cavendish pilot, EGG precincts will launch at both the Zone @ Rosebank and Bedford centres in Johannesburg; as well as in Gateway Mall in Durban, within 36 months. Simon, founder and former CEO of Young Designers Emporium, explains: “Uniting omnichannel in a multidimensional shopping-as-experience format that combines retail, ecommerce and an interactive consumer app, EGG is appealing to a new generation of consumer that is seeking an all-inclusive entertainment, locally sourced, learning and lifestyle fulfilment experience from a trip to the mall. We are continuously seeking innovative ways to differentiate our tenant mix through independent retailers to add an element of surprise and product discovery to shoppers. This ensures constant reinvention that enhances sustainable returns.” This partnership specifically targets Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). “By making retail spaces in leading malls available to local brands currently underrepresented in physical shopping centres, Old Mutual’s partnership with EGG is ‘democratising’ retail in South Africa, so to speak. This partnership will allow vendors without any previous retail experience to gain fully supported access to quality omnichannel retail space in the heart of South Africa’s prime shopping precinct,” says Nosarka. In addition to re-igniting growth and job creation in the sector by engaging local skills, the hugely expanded range of experiences and services enabled by EGG will make retail accessible to a much wider, local, younger and online segment through the collaborations.

Sustainable street art from Converse

Street art has previously been an act of rebellion; but has also become a celebration of creatives and an artistic medium for social progress. Converse has launched a campaign in cities across the globe, including South Africa, painting sustainable murals to highlight environmental issues. Members of the global Converse All Stars community of creatives partnered with Converse to paint murals in cities across the world using KNOxOUT paint, which uses sunlight to reduce noxious air pollutants and actually purifies the surrounding air. The street art campaign, which first launched globally in August 2019, is titled, Converse City Forests. During Heritage month in September, a mural was painted in Commissioner Street, Maboneng, by artist Seth Pimentel: “I wanted to comment on our collective beauty and energy; through our heritage, highlight our distinct nature of community, love, strength, connection. Celebrating our individual cultures, languages, ethnicities; our collective love for ourselves and our land.” Through the vision of local creatives, Converse believes that self-expression and art have the power to reflect the current times, provoke dialogue, and build bridges. The murals are a public call for progress in highly visible areas of each city and are bringing new meaning to street art to create a more sustainable and just future. Converse is actively looking to keep the momentum going, working with local artists across the globe to support its mission to create fresh air in cities. To learn more about Converse City Forests, visit

First CANNAFRICA retail store opens
First Labat Africa CANNAFRICA store opens in Durbanville, Cape Town – with store owner, Ryno Beck.

CANNAFRICA, the lifestyle brand of the first JSE-listed Cannabis company, Labat Africa, opened its first retail store in Durbanville, Cape Town, last week, at the Willowbridge Mall. Cannafrica’s first retail outlet will initially stock a collection of rare cannabinoids, CBD tinctures and CBD pet care products; and will later expand to include soft gels, supplements, personal care products, beverages, edibles and mini grow boxes. The CBD-infused products are manufactured at a state-of-the-art, SAHPRA-accredited, GMP-certified facility, providing a premium experience to users. Cannafrica CEO Herschel Maasdorp explains that the company’s vision is to seize the opportunity presented by the recent boom in the Cannabis category, while simultaneously increasing access through a more inclusive approach. “We believe the moment is ripe for growth and innovation. Cannabinoids offer a host of proven health benefits, and with the advent of the pandemic, we believe that the moment is now for aggressive expansion within the market. Our vision is for more South Africans to be able to experience the immune-promoting qualities of CBD, thus realising the full wellness potential of the Cannabis plant.” More Cannafrica retail stores will open towards the end of the year, in Hartbeespoort Dam (North West Province), Sandton (Gauteng) and Durban (KwaZulu-Natal) – with an extensive national footprint anticipated to follow.

This week in numbers:

2.5 million

This is the number of children born EVERY WEEK as part of what at researchers are calling Generation Alpha. “Are we ready for Generation Alpha?” This is the question posed by strategist Jacki McEwen, Eclipse Communications founding partner. While Generations X, Y and Z are firmly on the radar of marketers and communications experts in South Africa and globally, more consideration needs to be given to the next generation on the rise, Generation Alpha, she says. “Born between 2010 and 2025, the successors of Generation Z are expected to be the wealthiest, longest living, highly-educated, technologically-connected and transformative generation to date. Engaging with them will require deep insight into what drives them,” she adds. The term Generation Alpha was coined by demographer and sociologist, Mark McCrindle, who estimated that 2.5 million Generation Alphas are born globally every week and will account for about two-billion of the global population by 2025. McEwen says Generation Alpha is the first group to be immersed in technology practically from birth: “This means their interactions with technology will commence at a much younger age than any previous generation and digital disruption, the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence and machine learning, are their normal.” Recent research into Generation Alpha has revealed that they are concerned about global issues such as taking care of the environment, food security, fair treatment and safety at school far earlier than any generation before them. “The emergence of an opinionated and highly socially conscious generation means brands will have to earn their social license to operate more than ever before and transparency will be key. It is interesting that this generation also seems to be more defiant than earlier generations and does not like to play by the rules.”

QUOTE of the week:

“Not only is your generational label irrelevant, so is the year you were born. Looking at adoption rates for new technology, it takes older people as little as four years to catch up and use the technology adopted by younger people. While you could say that younger people are technology-centric, we’re almost on a level playing field, all things considered. If you are using age-based targeting, you need to very carefully examine whether you’re not losing out on a much broader audience. If your sales are coming from other age groups despite your marketing efforts to a single group, you might be sitting on a goldmine. A shift to more inclusive audience targeting should be on the cards.” – Craig Hannabus, strategy director at Rogerwilco, writing in


*Stocktake is a weekly roundup of current FMCG retailing and brand news, curated and edited by Retailing Africa Publisher & Editor, Louise Burgers. Keep the industry updated and send your announcements and news to:


Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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