Stocktake: Flood relief aid pours into KZN
Aid is pouring into KZN after the terrible floods last week; and a National State of Disaster was declared once again by the President.
Aid is pouring into KZN after the terrible floods last week; and a National State of Disaster was declared once again by the President in a special address on Monday evening, 18 April.
Shoprite Group sends aid to KZN after disastrous flooding
Following last week’s floods in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Shoprite acted swiftly to bring relief to affected communities by dispatching three of its Mobile Soup Kitchens to alleviate hunger on the ground, the day after the massive downpours. With a fourth Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen on route, the retail group will continue to serve warm and nutritious meals to those displaced and affected by the floods for as long as necessary. The retailer has also redirected its #ActForChange Fund till point donation facility to support local organisations assisting with relief efforts on the ground. This Fund enables customers wishing to support the relief efforts to donate as little as R5 at till points in all Shoprite, Checkers and Usave stores nationwide. In addition, it will donate essential food parcels – containing rice, maize meal, cooking oil and other non-perishables – and blankets to the Gift of the Givers Foundation and Ashraful Aid to distribute to families. It has also donated R30,000 towards East Coast Radio’s Big Favour to further support hunger relief efforts, as well as basic food items – including energy drinks and snacks – to support the emergency and frontline workers. Anyone wanting to assist family and friends in need, can also buy virtual vouchers to send directly to a recipient’s phone to buy groceries or other essentials.
PayFast and RCS team up to offer card convenience
Online payment gateway PayFast has partnered with consumer finance business, RCS, to launch a new payment method that enables consumers to make purchases using a range of store cards within the RCS stable of finance brands. This includes store card products from brands like Game, Makro, Cape Union Mart, Builders, CTM, and more. The payment method will benefit both merchants, which will be paid upfront in full; and customers, who will be able to pay off their purchases through flexible monthly instalments. Alternative payment methods provide customers with convenience, enabling them to pay in a way that suits them. Over 2.5 million South African consumers actively use RCS Store Cards to make purchases across a network of 26,000 stores. With the launch of the new payment method, consumers can pay with their store card in the same way they do with a credit or cheque card when checking out an online purchase. Online businesses will get paid instantly and in full, while RCS handles the instalments directly with the customer.
Mr Price buys 70% stake in Studio 88 for R3.3 billion
Mr Price announced its acquisition of Studio 88 last week for R3.3 billion. Studio 88 is South Africa’s largest independent retailer of branded leisure, lifestyle and sporting apparel and footwear, with over 700 stores, adding to the 1,702 Mr Price stores nationwide. Studio 88 operates as a cash-only business, said Mr Price, and the fashion retailer delivers on Mr Price’s strategic positioning across price-value, fashion-value and aspirational value segments. “[It is a] high performing business (including through COVID-19) with a strong track record and proven management team who are all being retained.” The acquisition is of 70% of the issued share capital of the Studio 88 Group for R 3.3 billion. The transaction will be fully funded by utilising existing cash resources of the Mr Price Group, and is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities of South Africa and other African territories as required, by 31 October 2022. When looking at opportunities in the market, Mr Price identified that growth was to be found in “the aspirational value segment within the apparel sector [which] was identified as an attractive investment area in which the group is currently under-represented”. Studio 88 Group’s merchandise range is a mix of international brands, some under exclusive license agreements, supplemented with private label ranges. This latest acquisition follows on the Yuppiechef acquisition last year.
Hotel & Hospitality Show redefines African hospitality for recovery
One of Africa’s most significant contributors to GDP, the tourism industry, was also one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Despite the numerous challenges hampering its recovery, the United Nations World Tourism Agency (UNWTO) noted a 12% rise in tourism arrivals in Africa in 2021 compared to 2020. The latest UNWTO Panel of Experts also revealed a more optimistic outlook and stronger pace of recovery for 2022 and beyond, with international tourism expected to reach pre-Covid levels on the continent by 2024. As Africa’s public and private tourism stakeholders work to rebuild the sector through policy responses and relief initiatives, The Hotel & Hospitality Show taking place May 19-21, 2022, under the theme, Redefining hospitality – Recovering for Future Growth, will bring together leading buyers and brands from Sub-Saharan Africa to discuss the latest trends and innovations driving the continent’s tourism revival. Taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre, it is also strategically co-located with Design Joburg, opening up access to an audience of top architects, commissioning designers and developers from Southern Africa. Topics include the future of the township economy as well as the need for hospitality businesses to pivot beyond rooms, by rethinking plans for assets and identifying value-added non-guest and non-room services to power demand and unlock recurring revenue opportunities. For exhibitor and visitor information, visit: thehotelshowafrica.com .
New Destinations Outdoor and Travel store launches
FrontierCo Group has launched an all-new outdoor destination store to cater for adventures. The first Destinations Outdoor and Travel store in Africa opened at the Atterbury Value Mart in Pretoria (located next to GUESS), and online at www.destinationsoutdoor.co.za. It sells equipment, accessories, clothing, footwear, and luggage from well-known outdoor brands, hand-picked by a team which believes in destination adventures for weekend escapes and holiday fun. Travel brands include, DELSEY, Thule, Travelite, Verage, Busby, FENN, Osprey, Kingsons, Northridge, Troop & Jansport; with outdoor clothing and footwear brands Salomon, CAT, Merrell, Jeep, Columbia, Hi-Tec, First Ascent, Under Armour, Advance, Blink, Falke & Balega; and outdoor equipment brands, Stanley, Leatherman, Victorinox, Honey Badger, Bushnell, Ledlenser, Nebo, Black Diamond & Hydro Flask. A second store is set to open in Cape Town soon.
Just Egg is taking a crack at calling members of Congress this month, AdWeek reports. The plant-based brand is utilising Earth Month as a way to call out U.S. elected officials who have not helped combat climate change, with a pull-no-punches campaign on the officials’ turf: Washington, D.C. With out-of-home ads containing messages like, “We’ve resorted to a billboard to get Tom Cotton to eat our eggs and finally do something good for the environment”; and “So delicious it’ll make Ted Cruz begrudgingly combat climate change”, Just Egg hopes to draw attention to the climate crisis and also get consumers involved. Learn more about the spicy campaign here.
A perfect storm of rising inflation and fears about food shortages due to war in Ukraine, has led to 35% of Britons admitting to stockpiling. Consumers are buying items on bulk in scenes reminiscent of the start of the pandemic, amid concerns about falling production for items such as wheat and oil, impacted by the war. Items such as canned food and lavatory paper, paracetamol and dried pasta, are among the items being hoarded, according to Barclaycard.
The new owners of Wm Morrison have given the green light to plans to sell a £500 million property portfolio months after completing their £7 billion takeover of Britain’s fourth-biggest supermarket chain. The grocer is in the process of appointing advisers to oversee the disposal of a substantial chunk of Morrisons’ manufacturing and distribution facilities across the UK.
Google is preparing to bring its employees back to the office this week, and as an added bonus, it’ll be offering them free electric scooters to help ease the transition. The tech giant is teaming up with e-scooter maker Unagi to launch a new program called “Ride Scoot,” in which most of Google’s US-based workers can get reimbursed for the full cost of a monthly subscription to Unagi’s stylish Model One scooter.
*Additional sources: AdWeek, Total Retail Report, Onclusive.
This guy isn’t a meme yet, but he will be after his stunt on April 3, where he hitched a ride in his shopping cart to an Engen petrol tanker travelling on the N1 super highway in Gauteng, in the rain nogal. Happening just after April Fool’s Day, I had to fact check to make sure we weren’t all being duped. Either way, we continue to own the weird and wonderful world title (if it’s too crazy to believe – look for the South African involved!); plus we now know we certainly have the strongest steel shopping trolleys in the world.
This week in numbers
More than 40% of companies are planning to increase their investment in CX technology over the next two years; and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as the “power tool” of CX. A new global research report from MIT Sloan Management Review (SMR) Connections, Delivering Experiences That Win Business and Build Loyalty: CX Champions Share Their Strategies, sponsored by SAS, reveals that customer experience (CX) Champions gain better returns from their CX tech investments than competitors, by managing CX across the enterprise through cross-functional teams, clearly defined workflows, and extensive use of analytics and AI. Of these CX Champions, 81% will have adopted AI chatbots; 86% will have adopted personalisation technology; 84% real-time data collection; and 72% will have connected omnichannel experiences. “The research findings [also] offer a caution against ‘random acts of technology’ because value is created only when the technology helps to fulfil customer expectations. In today’s world, this means adding martech that enables companies to capture digital activity at a customer level and dynamically manage identities, to make the most of first-party data by managing journeys, and to incorporate analytics and AI into real-time decisions,” said Lisa Loftis, Principal Product Marketer for SAS Customer Intelligence.
QUOTE of the week:
“Future smart lifestyles in automated habitats are bound by the tech developed for the metaverse, particularly that of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) systems – the holy grail of functional intent,” said Leanne Groot, marketing manager of Mobile in Africa, on Retailing Africa.
Main image credit: Supplied.
*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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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