Stocktake: New adidas flagship store opens this week

adidas launches SA hyper-local flagship store; McCain’s restaurant rescue package; and is your chatbot POPIA compliant, asks Webber Wentzel.

adidas launches SA hyper-local flagship store; McCain’s restaurant rescue package; and is your chatbot POPIA compliant, asks Webber Wentzel.

adidas SA’s new Sandton flagship store opens

adidas South Africa aims to offer the most immersive consumer experience on the African continent with its 1,000 sqare metre Sandton flagship store. The space was designed to be hyper-local, with Jozi culture and credibility woven in at every touchpoint. A range of exclusive, limited-edition prints will be available only at the Sandton Flagship Store, with décor and furnishings brought to life by creators such as Russell AbrahamsLazi Mathebula and Mia Senekal. Consumers can expect to find a best-in-class showcasing of adidas Running, Training, Football, Outdoor, Kids and Originals products, with an exclusive offering of Y-3 footwear and apparel, as well as collections by Stella McCartney and Karlie Kloss. Commenting on the store’s digital capabilities, Paddy Muldoon, senior director DTC at adidas South Africa, says that the Sandton flagship store brings the digital and physical consumer experiences together on a level that no other retailer in Africa has reached: “For the first time, South African consumers can experience Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) mirrors in changing rooms, which automatically detects product information in order to provide consumers with real-time colour and style options. Visitors to our store can also choose from a variety of digital backdrops in the changing rooms, in order to test their look in different scenarios.”

Another game-changer is the store’s sustainability space, which is the largest retail area committed to sustainability that adidas has created across its global footprint. The space introduces storytelling into the consumer experience, showcasing how the brand’s commitment is brought to life through collaborations such as adidas x Parley; and eco-innovations such as Primeblue – products made comprising of at least 50% Parley Ocean Plastic. Shoppers can also make use of South Africa’s only in-store concierge service: drop off their adidas sneakers for a free cleaning, personalise adidas footwear and apparel at the Maker’s Lab, or sign-up for the adidas ‘click and collect’ offering when purchasing online.

Ensuring your chatbot is POPIA compliant

We all know that July 1, 2021, is the deadline for final POPIA implementation and we’ve all been carrying various articles on it. Maison Samuels from Webber Wentzel attorneys reminds us not to forget about chatbots too – nowadays the frontline customer engagement for many brands. A chatbot is an operating system that automates and simulates a conversation with humans in written or spoken form. This enables the user to interact with digital devices in the same way they would communicate with a real person – and the POPIA rules apply. When a business uses a chatbot, a lot of real-time data about end users may be obtained during the conversation. “Accordingly, if your business uses a chatbot service, you must ensure compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (POPIA), which becomes fully operational on 1 July 2021.  The chatbot service provider is also required to comply with POPIA,” urges Samuels. He says there are essentially three parties involved in the chatbot service and it is important to distinguish them to comply with POPIA:

  1. The end user, the data subject to whom the personal information relates and who is typically identified through an identifier such as a name or identification number. The end user is protected by POPIA, and organisations that process the end user’s personal information must comply with the Act.
  2. The responsible party, the organisation using the chatbot service to process the end user’s data for a specific purpose (this party is the chatbot customer).
  3. Then there is the operator, the entity providing the chatbot service to the chatbot customer. The distinction between the latter two parties is important in determining who attracts liability in the event of a data breach.

It is also important to determine the type of information that is processed by the chatbot, as organisations have a duty to protect personal information under POPIA. This includes biometric information i.e., information that identifies a person based on physical, physiological or behavioural characteristics; basic identifying information (name and surname, any identifying number, email address and location etc.); and information relating to a person’s racial and ethnic origin, religious beliefs and health.

Telkom launches Africa’s first virtual card for WhatsApp transactions

Ukheshe, Mastercard, Nedbank and Telkom collaborate to grow access to the digital economy with a virtual product that enables secure ecommerce payments on phone. Telkom has launched Africa’s first Mastercard virtual card for use on WhatsApp, enabling Telkom Pay customers to make e-commerce payments. This move is expected to empower millions of South Africans – even those without a bank account – to access the digital economy and transact online. Launched in 2020, Telkom Pay is a digital payments wallet that enables its users to make and receive payments using WhatsApp on their mobile phone. With the addition of the Mastercard virtual (non-plastic) card to the wallet, users can now make payments to local and global online merchants that accept Mastercard, including Uber and Netflix.

Telkom managing executive for financial services, Sibusiso Ngwenya, says: “We are proud to lead the way in launching the first virtual card through WhatsApp on the continent. This ensures greater financial inclusion through affordable products and services that cater to everyone and are easily accessible through a mobile device at any time.” Suzanne Morel, country manager for Mastercard, South Africa, says the expansion of Telkom Pay’s services is an important step forward in improving access to the digital economy. “South Africans are increasingly shopping online, yet many people are left out as they lack the financial tools needed for ecommerce. This digital-first solution bridges the divide by giving consumers instant access to a virtual payment solution through WhatsApp, without compromising the safety and security of transactions. Together with our partners, we are helping more people to benefit from the choice and flexibility that a growing, inclusive digital economy brings.”

McCain serves up restaurant support

In response to the ongoing Covid-induced onslaught on the restaurant industry, McCain Foodservice Solutions launched the “Dishruption Challenge”. The Dishruption Challenge is aimed at independent restaurant owners, which for the last year have had their lives and businesses disrupted, challenged and threatened. To participate, entrants needed  to create a dish containing at least one McCain product, add it to their restaurant’s menu, price it accordingly, and sell at least 20 of these dishes before the competition closing date in June. Ten winners will be selected, and will each receive a support package, valued at R50,000. Over the past year in particular, McCain Foodservice Solutions has been working to provide support to operators through various initiatives. This includes the provision of  toolkits to help restaurateurs navigate the requirements of the different lockdown levels, and launching SureCrisp, a product specifically aimed at providing the crispiest chips for delivery, in a time where takeout was the only option. In addition to this, McCain joined ‘One Meal Many Thanks’, an initiative which saw food service suppliers rally together with the aim to save 1.8 million jobs in the industry through a variety of tactics, including the provision of free stock and a campaign to encourage and incentivise consumers to eat out. This initiative is part of McCain’s ongoing mission to support restaurants, through initiatives such as its Insiders Club, through which professionals in the food industry get free access to the latest industry trends, business tips, inspiration and resources, including a Restaurant Resilience Toolkit.

This week in numbers


Tetra Pak has taken strong steps to reduce carbon emissions for the dairy sector, with the launch of its new UHT 2.0 heating portfolio and Tetra Pak E3/Speed Hyper packaging equipment in line with World Milk Day this month and theme of sustainability. Tetra Pak’s new UHT 2.0 portfolio with OneStep technology and Tetra Pak E3/Speed Hyper reduce water and steam consumption, creating less wastewater and therefore also lowering the cost of its removal for dairy manufacturers. Adding a Water Filtering Station unit to Tetra Pak E3/Speed Hyper helps recover up to 95% of the production water of the filling machines, while contributing to lower water consumption. Up to a fifth of Tetra Pak’s customers are based in high or extremely high-risk water areas and the company is prioritising action to address this. The combination of this new technology scores highly across industry benchmarks for sustainability, with a 0.8 GHG Index score, a 0.3 Water Index score and a Product Losses Index score of 0.7. When compared to a conventional line solution this optimal integrated solution reduces GHG emissions by 20%, water usage by 70% and product losses by 30%. The announcement follows Tetra Pak’s 2020 pledge to not only reach net-zero emissions in its own operations by 2030, but to also realise a net-zero emissions ambition across the value chain by 2050.

QUOTE of the week:

“Social commerce is blurring the line between ecommerce and social media, and it is changing the way consumers shop and prefer to make purchases. It’s the evolution and maturation of social media meeting shopping,” said Sarah-Jane Lowes, global digital strategy partner, Ogilvy, on Retailing Africa this past week.


Main image credit: adidas.



*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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