Our Top Highlights and Takeouts from SA’s Biggest Retail Innovation Event
For the last 21 years, the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) has hosted an annual congress that, quite simply, has been leading the way in how we look at retail design – both locally and abroad. This year was no different. In fact, in these turbulent economic times, it comes as no surprise that the core message we took away with us was that the more disruptive our thinking around retail – particularly in designing the ultimate retail experiences – the better our chances of success.
With topics ranging from Nickelodeon Store’s innovative experience designs to the state of the South African economy, our receptors were firing on all cylinders. A reality that was hard to ignore was that, as we are now in the clutches of a major recession in South Africa, we are on the brink of a serious shift in the local retail landscape. These were some of the highlights for TDC&Co:
Watch This Space
Never heard of them? Neither had we. They’ve only been around since 2013 – but in that time, they’ve given new meaning to the term, fast fashion. They stock at least 3,000 types of high quality, affordable and accessible products from Health and Beauty to Creative Homeware, and update their product offering every seven days.
Since their founding by Japanese designer Miyake Junya and Chinese entrepreneur Ye Guofu, Miniso has opened more than 2,000 stores in over 50 countries – selling what they call “intelligent consumer products”. The first of their stores have already popped up in Pretoria’s Menlyn Park, but by the time you read this, they will already have opened up shop all around Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town. This was a wakeup call to all of us – and a reminder of the icebergs that lie ahead for retailers that continue to function like large unsinkable ships.
2. OBC Group
The OBC name is not likely to ring any bells for the average Woolies shopper, but in the last 25 years, they’ve become one of South Africa’s fastest growing supermarket chains with over 50 stores nationwide. By providing easy, super affordable access to frozen goods like chicken, fish, red and processed meat – as well as various other essential grocery items – they’re one of South Africa’s most beloved brands in the lower LSM demographic. They’re cheap without the nasty.
In recent years, the brand has also witnessed rapid national expansion in a time when other retailers have screeched to a halt. Tony de Fonseca, OBC’s managing director, believes that this is largely due to the fact that their business model all but guarantees an overnight uptick in trade for any business that undergoes an OBC rebrand. The benefits of belonging to the group undoubtedly has its perks – such as bulk-buying, consistent deliveries, aggressive marketing tactics and more competitive group banking fee structures. But above all, OBC understands its customer just as well as it understands itself – and crafts their experiences accordingly.
Think H&M, but even more affordable. On top of that, the brand is no less innovative – capitalising on all the tech and Generation Y and Z mod cons to make their customers feel like a million bucks whenever they enter a DeFacto store. In short, there’s no stopping Turkey’s second largest retail brand. They went global for the first time in 2012, débuting in Kazakhstan, and now have 110 stores across the globe, excluding the 450 stores in their native Turkey.
The next step in their evolution centres on their online sociability, in which they’ve invested a great deal of time and resources of late. By leveraging the power of social media, they aim to add a new, more ambitious dimension to the DeFacto brand by not only using the medium to set trends – but starting global fashion movements. Keep an eye out for them, as they will be opening stores in South Africa soon.
If you’d like to know more about how your business can benefit from the latest retail design trends – or would like to explore how you can successfully navigate the retail landscape in the current economic climate – why not contact Tanya at TDC&Co on 0711341146