Stocktake: Brands doing good is good business

Drawing on renewable energy, helping restaurateurs in need, ethical business practices, retail and brand protests against an unjust war – this is business today if you want to stay in business.

Drawing on renewable energy, helping restauranters in need, ethical business practices, retail and brand protests against an unjust war – this is business today if you want to stay in business.

Checkers Sitari to run entirely on renewable energy

Checkers Sitari and the entire Sitari Village Mall located close to Somerset West, Cape Town, have become South Africa’s first premium supermarket and shopping centre to run entirely off renewable energy from wind and solar sources. This is part of Checkers’ ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and comes as the retailer launches an environmental campaign to drive further awareness and dialogue. Enabling Checkers Sitari to run entirely off renewable energy is the result of a 635kWp rooftop solar PV installation; and an agreement with Eskom’s Renewable Energy Tariff (RET) programme, which allows customers to source up to 100% of their electricity from renewable resources. The Sitari Village Mall, with Checkers as anchor tenant, will generate 35% of its electricity from its rooftop solar PV system. The remaining 65% – 1,752 MWh of renewable energy – will be sourced from Eskom’s wind plant via the RET programme. This is enough to power the entire centre, including the Checkers supermarket, entirely on renewables.

YUMBI teams up with Uber Eats to aid restaurant owners

By integrating its offering with Eats and utilising the Uber Direct services, YUMBI has added a critical delivery component to its data-rich, fully integrated online ordering and customer intelligence solution for multi-location quick service restaurants (QSRs). Leveraging its 10 years of industry expertise, YUMBI partners with multi-location QSR brands to ensure they deliver the high-quality ordering experience customers have come to expect. “With YUMBI, brands have complete control over their platform, ordering ecosystem and customer relationships. They are able to engage directly with customers and gain critical insight from usage analytics,” says Chris Sweidan, YUMBI MD. It’s custom-branded ordering apps and websites also let customers place orders directly with the restaurant, eliminating the cost and loss of control associated with using third parties. Now, with the integration between YUMBI and Uber Eats, multi-location QSRs can offer delivery directly to their customers; putting control of the customer’s ordering experience back where it belongs – in the hands of restaurant owners. “In addition, by owning the data relating to their customers’ buying patterns, demands and choices, our clients are better placed to communicate marketing promotions to them. They can also negotiate attractive delivery rates,” Sweidan points out.

Retail group commits to expansive ethical practices

The Cotton On Group has strengthened its commitment to sustainability and purpose-led business through a commitment to doing good in all areas of its operation. Cemented in The Good Report, its inaugural impact report, the retailer has made its pledge public, showcasing how far the company has come over its 30-year journey, as well as where it’s headed. The Cotton On Group recently partnered with UNICEF, helping deliver more than one million COVID-19 vaccines to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. The group set a target to be carbon neutral across its entire operations by 2030, achieving 84% of its 2023 target to wash 100% of its denim using water reduction processes, and significantly reduced the use of plastics across its operations. The retailer  also expanded its Africa Cotton program into Mozambique to positively impact the lives of more farmers in this area, launching its first ever range of t-shirts made from the single-origin Africa Cotton. With big ambitions to save water, reduce waste and source responsibly, the group has put sustainability at the forefront of the business. The retailer has a goal to make 100% of their products with a sustainable attribute, by 2030. Cotton On has further committed to purchase 100% of the cotton produced by the Africa Cotton Program, which has shown remarkable promise in empowering local women and building communities. The Group has pledged to phase out all unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025 and have replaced plastic packaging use for online orders with approved alternatives from responsibly managed forests. Garment swing tags will now be made from 100% recycled paper with care labels being made from 100% recycled polyester. Locally, Cotton On has partnered with The Clothing Bank to create income-generating opportunities for women in South Africa.

TRADE SHOWS – live and in person!

More industry networking at these in person, online and hybrid events in our industry:

  • The PlantPowered Show takes place this year at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Friday, May 27, to Sunday, May 29, 2022. It will incorporate a live in-person event; as well as a virtual component. The Plant Powered Show is the first of its kind in South Africa, bringing the plant-based, vegetarian, vegan, and conscious living revolution to a mainstream audience. The inaugural Plant Powered Show (under the name The Festive Vegan & Plant Powered Show), took place online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Aimed at those looking to live and enjoy a healthier, more conscious and sustainable lifestyle with a smaller environmental footprint. FoodForward SA is its official CSI partner.
  • Momentum Medical Scheme is the headline sponsor of’s Virtual Parenting Experience 2022. The first edition of Virtual Parenting Experience (VPE)in 2021 drew an audience of 13,300 people to the virtual platform, participating in over 30 curated webinars hosted by experts in their field. The goal was to bring trusted parenting advice and products to parents and caregivers in the most accessible and convenient way possible. This year, it will take place 20-22 May 2022.

For more 2022 industry events, click here.


The past two week has seen a wave of exits from Russia from the business world, AdWeek reports, including Apple, Microsoft, Mastercard, Visa and American Express. Agencies have also made departures, including Accenture and WPP – the latter of which had 1,400 employees in Russia at the time. These moves and mounting violence in Ukraine have prompted consumers to demand more global brands follow suit, even boycotting those that have taken no action. Now, in response to the situation and customer pressure, some of the biggest food and beverage giants in the world have paused operations there, with McDonald’s announcing it will temporarily close its 847 restaurants in the country but will continue to pay its 62,000 Russian employees. Coke, Pepsi and Starbucks are doing the same.

Amazon has launched its cashierless checkout technology “Just Walk Out” system at its first full-scale Whole Foods. The footprint is sizably bigger than its Amazon Go or even Amazon Fresh stores at 21,000 square feet. It has had to make some adjustments like charging some produce by the item as rather than by the pound. Yair Holtzer, VP of Business Development at computer vision startup Trigo, said in an interview with PYMNTS, “People want the experience to be smooth as possible.”

Big British businesses, including Marks & Spencer are in talks with Downing Street about arranging jobs and accommodation for Ukrainian refugees. A coalition of more than 40 large businesses has told the government it has up to 10,000 jobs available for refugees. The consortium, co-ordinated by entrepreneur Emma Sinclair, includes M&S and recruitment giants Robert Walters and FDM, as well as jobs specialist Impellam. Morrisons also said it has contacted the Home Office to offer its assistance in providing jobs for refugees.

Walmart is touting new AI capabilities on top of its warehousing, attached to stores as the “star of last mile fulfillment” in a company blog post. “Our new platform is doing revolutionary things,” explained Srini Venkatesan, the executive vice president for Walmart Global Tech. “With all these points of fulfillment/delivery in a sense ‘communicating’ with one another, we can plan replenishment at a shorter cycle, gain close-to-real-time insights of inventory and ultimately react to customer demand.”

*Additional sources: AdWeek, Total Retail Report, Onclusive, Perch Interactive.


With the war in Ukraine, we are all feeling the bite of rising petrol and food prices.

This week in numbers


Varsity Vibe research found that, following on from the pandemic, 83% of students confirmed that they worry about money. The majority of students are struggling to make ends meet or live on a tight month-to-month budget. It is even more unsettling to see how financial stress impacts their normal lives, as 61% of students have reported mental health issues as a result. Based on the information gathered, on average, students are over-spending by R761 each month.

QUOTE of the week:

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is making steady advances, with more than 80% of the first tariff lines having been agreed under the Rules of Origin, say Webber Wentzel legal experts, on Retailing Africa.


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*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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