Stocktake: Retail strategies and relevant brands

Game’s turnaround strategy rests on omnichannel transformation; brands continue to aid KZN after floods; Hostex returns live; international retail guru for Nedbank IMC Conference; and Ukraine War continues to create economic woes, the world over.

Game’s turnaround strategy rests on omnichannel transformation; brands continue to aid KZN after floods; Hostex returns live; international retail guru for Nedbank IMC Conference; and Ukraine War continues to create economic woes, the world over.

Game progresses in omnichannel transformation

As the next step in its turnaround strategy and in support of its goal to become a leading omnichannel retailer, Game last month launched a refreshed eCommerce platform, supported by an investment from Massmart and a dedicated support team in Walmart’s global tech hub in Bangalore, India. The website is equipped with new features, functionalities, and product categories – aimed at providing a more streamlined experience for the customer. In April the retailer reported a more than 100% growth in online sales month-to-date when compared to April 2021. The new site offers improved experience in advanced sourcing logic, order tracking, online returns, a brand new pickup option for customers, and categories that were previously unavailable online – such as liquor and clothing, both of which perform well for the retailer. “[We know] 70% of our customers visit our website via mobile so it was important that we developed our website to be mobile responsive, while addressing some important consumer pain points,” explained Andrew Stein, vice president, Game. The retailer will also be offering a pickup feature in select stores.

Brands continue to assist KZN after disaster        

The destruction to infrastructure in KZN after the floods in April, have the potential to aggravate the socio-economic climate of South Africa, particularly in the context of a nation still recovering from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Port of Durban is one of the largest and most industrious shipping terminals in Africa, playing a significant role in the South African economy. As BMW Group reiterates, the port has been greatly affected during this disaster – access to it was disrupted due to the damage of Bayhead Road, which connects the Durban Port Operations to the rest of the country. Some lanes of the road have been restored and repairs to the remainder of the canal bridge are ongoing.

  • BMW Group South Africa and its KZN retailer partners support communities stricken by the KZN floods with R2.6m donation: A total of R2,6m was contributed towards immediate relief efforts, including a R1m donation by BMW to the Gift of the Givers Foundation. This donation was made towards relief work to ensure that all affected by the disaster receive the necessary aid. Peter van Binsbergen, CEO of BMW Group SA commented, “The KZN floods are a natural disaster with heart-breaking repercussions for the lives and livelihoods of residents in the province and South Africans at large. In devastations especially beyond our collective control, it is important that we promptly join hands and create the relevant responses and support. The destruction and devastation are immense and the road to recovery is long. The lives and well-being of several communities remain at risk. A massive and concerted effort that effectively uses institutional and human resources is required.”
  • Cotton On retailer commits R500,000 to aid victims of KwaZulu-Natal floods in partnership with UNICEF South Africa: Over the past two weeks, 100% of proceeds from Cotton On Foundation product sales and donations online and in-store were channeled to this cause. The purchase of items such as masks, cans of water and tote bags in Cotton On Group stores provided an easy way for the public to contribute. UNICEF and partners will provide approximately 200 families affected, including children with disabilities, with food vouchers, emergency water and hygiene supplies. In addition, UNICEF is working with partners on the ground to provide psychosocial support and counselling services for children in the KwaMashu community. “I recently visited KwaMashu and seeing the destruction caused by the floods was absolutely heart-breaking,” said South African actress and Cotton On Foundation Ambassador, Nomzamo Mbatha, who was born in the area.
Is your brand a beacon of relevance?

Retail is the place where marketers send out their brands to meet the customer. Whether it’s online or at the premises – the retail space serves as the final custodian of our products or services, handing them over to our customers. It is in this moment that our customers’ own dreams, desires – and trust – seamlessly merge with our brands. If the shopping experience falls short of our customers’ expectations, that delicate relationship between customer and brand can weaken. As marketers, we need to fully understand the relevance and power of retail. At the Nedbank Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Conference 2022, Ron Thurston, one of the USA’s leading retail gurus, will describe the dynamics of how our brands can shine like beacons of relevance in the retail space. Ron Thurston has spent his life in the retail sector. As a highly accomplished retail leadership executive, board advisor and Amazon bestselling author, he has extensive experience in leading the retail teams for some of the USA’s most prominent brands. Throughout his career, he has travelled relentlessly across the USA to hear what retailers have to say, inspiring thousands of them along the way. Thurston writes in his bestseller, Retail Pride, “The principles of good retail were the same a hundred years ago as they are today. But that doesn’t mean we should not be acutely aware of what is happening around us or how we need to evolve as an industry. We need to evolve along with our customers while still remembering the fundamentals of our business.” Tickets to the virtual one-day event and group discounts, are available at: Retailing Africa is a media partner.

Hostex is making a refreshed comeback in June 2022

Hostex is happening at Sandton Convention Centre from 26 to 28 June. James Khoza, President of SA Chefs Association and Hostex Ambassador, says that an exciting comeback for the hospitality, food and drink sectors, and for the long-standing Hostex expo, is exactly what’s needed to “celebrate the ongoing resilience and innovation within an industry that was severely battered by the pandemic”. Gary Corin, MD at Specialised Exhibitions, a division of the Montgomery Group and long-standing organisers of Hostex, says, “Before the pandemic we themed Hostex 2022 as REFRESHED, little knowing just how relevant that would be to a courageous industry that has withstood the ravages of the past two years. Hostex 2022’s three theme days will be:

  1. Comeback Sunday– for a resilient industry making a post-pandemic comeback.
  2. Sustainability Monday– sustainability is steadily becoming an industry hallmark.
  3. Technology Tuesday– technology is constantly changing our world for the better.

Show attractions include SA Chefs Association’s The Skillery; a Coffee Market hosted by the Speciality Coffee Association (SCASA) which will again feature a barista competition; and a wide-ranging array of exhibitors all eager to showcase their products and services.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged debt relief for African countries and more investment to help their economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and weather the impacts of the Ukraine war. The coronavirus pandemic pushed many poor countries into debt distress and the Ukraine war has disrupted their economic recovery, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Inflation has hit a new record for the 19 countries that use the euro as skyrocketing fuel prices boosted by the war in Ukraine add new burdens to household finances and weigh on a slowing economic recovery from the latest outbreaks of COVID-19. Meanwhile, figures from Eurostat have raised concerns over the Eurozone economy, with first quarter growth in France stalling and shrinking in Italy, as Russia’s war in Ukraine pushes up energy costs across the continent. Growth in GDP across the eurozone fell to 0.2pc in the first quarter, down from 0.3pc in the final quarter of 2021 when the Omicron variant weighed on activity. City economists had forecast a growth rate of 0.3pc for the eurozone, highlighting the economic risks from the war in Ukraine amid surging oil and gas prices.

Victoria’s Secret & Co. announced on Friday that it has started selling 120 of its best-selling Victoria’s Secret Beauty and PINK Beauty products on the Victoria’s Secret storefront on It’s the company’s first major partnership with another retailer to sell its goods. The products, which include branded fragrances, lotions, body scrubs and body washes, are also eligible for free delivery with Prime. The move allows Victoria’s Secret Beauty to expand its product offerings and strengthen its connection with customers by going beyond its brick-and-mortar locations and e-commerce site.

*Additional sources: AdWeek, Total Retail Report, Kantar, Onclusive, CMO Council.


Elon Musk may or may not be buying Twitter, but he has certainly been one of its top memes these past weeks; as well as generating his own in the wake of his Twitter bid, threatening to ‘buy’ other brands to transform them – or us.

This week in numbers

2 hours 31 minutes

No generation has been as empowered as Gen Z is. Technology has given them the freedom to break free from traditional media channels. In turn, this freedom has given them a choice of what they consume, when they consume it, on their preferred platform. In order to grab Gen Z’s attention, brands need to offer them attention-grabbing and hyper-relevant information and content. Social Media is also their most preferred channel to engage with a brand. The average young person spends around 2h31min on social media per day. In order to stand out when targeting Gen Z, include video and stimulating images when you can, connect with the Gen Z customer on a human level and use critical data tracking to deliver personalised experiences. By meeting Gen Z where they are, brands and institutions can drive meaningful social change, according to a study by Mazars.

QUOTE of the week:

“Ongoing developments in the science of emotion AI are bringing us closer to that day when we’ll surrender control of our home’s smart ecosystem to an AI guardian,” says Leanne Goott, marketing manager of Mobile in Africa (MIA), on Retailing Africa.


Main image credit: Cotton On Foundation ambassador, Nomzamo Mbatha.




*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:


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