SA loves shopping, but enough for retailers?
Fin24 - Oct 2nd 2015, 09:30
Durban – South Africa is a country that loves shopping, but the big question is whether the retail industry has run out of steam, according to Rohit Talwar, futurist and strategic adviser of FastFuture.
Based in the UK, he advises global companies, industries and governments on how to survive, thrive, spot and manage emerging risks and develop innovative growth strategies.
“It is important for SA retailers to think about the next five to twenty years,” he said at the 19th congress of the SA Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) taking place in Durban this week.
“The future is exciting on the one hand, because of lots of opportunities, but there are also challenges because of existential risks.”
His research showed that one of the big potentials in the SA retail industry could lie in townships.
“But then the SA retail industry would have to develop a new thinking about serving those township markets. For instance, a big mall might not work so well in a township,” said Talwar.
“Retailers basically have a choice between two routes. Either they must play by the existing rules of the game or they must create a new game. The SA economy is under pressure and that creates huge uncertainty.”
That is why, in his view, organisations should have some early warning system regarding trends and risks.
“Retailers will have to look at potential opportunities and decide if they want to choose to be the first to go in and be pioneers and run the risk, or wait and follow later,” he explained.
One trend he has noted overseas is for retailers to use alternative ways to obtain revenue. Some retailers use auction models, for instance, during quieter times in their shops.
Customer service is also becoming more and more important in the retail world.
Another trend he has seen oversees is for malls to create a ‘mall within a mall’. He gave the example of a mall he visited where there was a section of about 20 shops all aimed at men. This was situated in one area within a larger mall.
The growth of specialised malls and the use of themes by malls are other trends in luring customers. He has even seen some retailers and mall owners starting to invest in potential future tenants in their malls.
“The challenge is how retailers and shopping malls are preparing for the future rather than just staying in a mere response mode,” said Talwar.
* Carin Smith is a guest of the SACSC at its congress.From Fin24.com
Africa’s biggest mall welcomes Ackermans’ 800th store
23/08/2019 - 09:52
One of South Africa’s longest-standing value retailers, Ackermans, opened its 800th store in Africa’s biggest shopping centre Fourways Mall, in the north of Johannesburg.
Experiential retail is trending in SA, report shows
09/05/2019 - 16:26
With experiential retail being one of the hottest trends in the retail and shopping centre industry right now, the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) commissioned a research report to get insight into the growth of experiential retail in the local mall marketplace.
SACSC 2019 Footprint Marketing Awards entries now open
02/05/2019 - 15:04
Shopping centre owners, mall marketing departments and agencies take note: The South African Council of Shopping Centres’ (SACSC) has opened entries for its prestigious 2019 SACSC Footprint Marketing Awards.
SA malls gearing up for Christmas
19/12/2018 - 10:05
Hot off the heels of the global Black Friday phenomenon, retailers, brands and shopping centres across South Africa have geared up to make the most of 2018’s Festive Season which is already upon us.
The signs are here that South Africa has reached its economic crossroad
03/12/2018 - 11:37
While South Africa attempts to shore up its own economy amid high inflation rates and a stuttering inherited financial system, the continent as a whole continues to grow. The big question, though, is whether South Africa will get left behind in terms of international investment if it doesn’t improve its financial situation, and how to avoid this.