Stocktake: Solutions-driven branding

Solutions driven products and services are on the increase from brands during these strange days.

Solutions driven products and services are on the increase from brands during these strange days. Innovation, coupled with the immediate need to address challenges faced by consumers, are the drivers. What is also coming out from much of the current research and trends, is that consumers also expect brands to have the answers in a climate where many Governments are failing.

La Lucia Mall launches new click-and-collect parking

La Lucia Mall, the freshly revamped contemporary small regional shopping centre on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, has launched special parking zones for the use of shoppers and delivery services collecting purchases from the mall. The new parking zones for click-and-collect shopping will also help delivery drivers collecting hot food, cold groceries, and just about everything in between, and deliver them to shoppers promptly. “We pride ourselves on providing an exceptional experience, which includes offering alternative ways to shop La Lucia Mall. Our customers value flexibility, so we’re giving it to them. These new parking measures support our shoppers and traders. They ensure it is even easier for residents and visitors to use the mall and keep shopping local,” says La Lucia Mall centre manager Vanessa Blevins.

COVID-19 has accelerated online ordering, and kerbside collection space is now in higher demand at La Lucia Mall. Its Woolworths store provides one of the brand’s top three click-and-collect services for the retailer in SA. Woolies launched Click and Collect, which is now in 76 stores around South Africa, including La Lucia. There has also been demand for a same-day service, and therefore Woolworths also has recently launched an on-demand delivery model. The Woolies Dash trial is in 18 stores across South Africa, also including La Lucia. This is the first on-demand grocery service in South Africa to offer same-day delivery with a full cold-chain solution. The flexible lightweight carrier bags keep groceries fresh at the Woolies required temperatures, right to a customer’s door. Besides the many La Lucia Mall retailers, restaurants and take-aways known to offer online ordering for collection or delivery, new names are also embracing the on-demand delivery evolution. Exclusive Books La Lucia Mall has joined OneCart and UberEats; and biltong shop Billie Boys is also now delivering on Uber Eats.

Dis-Chem offers Covid tests at airports
Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

Dis-Chem Pharmacies is now offering COVID-19 rapid Antigen tests at OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports to meet the additional requirements for people flying abroad. International travellers are still required to have a PCR test 72 hours before flying but now, in addition, an antigen test before boarding a plane. This rapid antigen test is a nasopharyngeal test which provides results in approximately 15 minutes and will reveal if a person is currently infected with the COVID-19 pathogen. This test is provided at the Dis-Chem Airport sites at OR Tambo and Cape Town International Airports. Rapid antibody testing and PCR swab tests are also available at these airport testing sites that are currently operational from 8 am to 5 pm daily, but hours may be extended as more international flights become available. Dis-Chem continues to offer rapid antigen and rapid antibody tests, as well as the PCR tests at its network of stores and drive-through testing sites nationwide.

Defy launches solar hybrid range

Defy last week launched its new Solar Hybrid fridge and freezer products at a virtual event. The product range includes a fridge and a chest freezer, both of which utilise solar power to reduce electricity consumption from the grid. The Defy Solar Hybrid fridge and chest freezer are now available in stores nationwide. Designed with Africa in mind, the product range is a game changer by lowering energy costs by up to 44%, and by keeping food frozen for up to 49 hours with endure-chill technology when there is no power. Revolutionary technology reduces total cost of ownership by removing the requirement for separate battery and inverter purchases, to have a solar appliance at home with built-in smart electronics installed in these new appliances. The Defy Solar Hybrid product range retails for less than R6,000 and will be available in 78 stores at the end of February and will further expand to more stores across the country as the product penetrates the market.

This week in numbers:


That is the number of South Africans who are unemployed. This is what President Cyril Ramaphosa, speaking at his annual State of the Nation Address last week, said: “Over the past year, South Africa has experienced a sharp decline in growth and a significant increase in unemployment. Poverty is on the rise. Inequality is deepening. In the third quarter of 2020, our economy was 6% smaller than it was in the last quarter of 2019. There were 1.7 million fewer people employed in the third quarter of 2020 than there were in the first quarter, before the pandemic struck. Our unemployment rate now stands at a staggering 30.8%.”

QUOTE of the week:

“More than 60% of US consumers say that brand values are of paramount importance and over 60% of under 35’s, expressing that the brands commitment to social responsibility is key to making a connection. What this means is the bulk of the rising consumer population is telling brands to act better; to become more responsible; and ultimately to be more socially attuned,” said Michael Smollan, chief growth and innovation officer of Smollan, on Retailing Africa this week.


*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 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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