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Retail to invest in SA

Date posted: 16.06.2016 | Author: Harry Bovensmann

Now is a great time for retail to invest in South Africa because of the weak rand, Steve Matthesen, global president of retailer services at research firm Nielsen said on Wednesday. He was a speaker at the 60th Global Summit of the Consumer Goods Forum, which is taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) until Friday.

Matthesen highlighted various strategies for success, while speaking about ways to navigate the new retail agenda. These include for retailers to still think about emerging markets, to build their brands, to realise consumers demand convenience, to realise online will continue to be the biggest disruptor in the industry but to see it as “the gift that keeps on giving” and to think about how to make the use of promotions more efficient.

Emerging markets are getting wealthier and the purchasing power in these markets is growing. Companies doing the best in these markets are the ones who have been there for a while already. Big brands cannot just think they can come in and take over. There are also local competitors who know the market and can move quickly. Emerging markets are complicated and retailers need to approach them with a variety of options.

In Africa and the Middle East traditional trade remains key in retail. It is, therefore, important for retailers to fit the lifestyle of consumers. There is also a trend of the modern meeting the traditional trade – trying to match the store format to the local fit. This is, therefore, an opportunity to create convenience by thinking local.

Another myth Matthesen cleared is the effectiveness of retail promotions to drive consumers to a store. A Nielsen survey showed that although consumers still regard price as important, it is only their number four top priority. The three more important factors are fresh and high quality produce, a conveniently located store and the products on offer and how they are set up.

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