The South African retail sector has endeared a number of tough years of late, as the current economic environment has had a substantial impact on consumers and retail sales. This situation has been exacerbated by other factors such as high interest rates, a weakening Rand and other inflationary pressures impacting sales. With retail sales growth stagnating over recent times, it has become imperative for retailers to diligently manage operational costs, whilst ensuring they are still being competitive at all times in their quest for growth.
The retail market is also facing numerous strategic changes, which need to be embraced and adopted:
- At the top-end of the market, online shopping and e-commerce continues its growth trajectory, not only in the fashion, books and electronic markets, but also within grocery categories.
- Customer loyalty has become critical, as the competitive nature of retail has intensified, offering customers more choice of convenient retail options. This can be seen in the focus on loyalty programmes, customer analytics, and targeted marketing and promotional programs.
- Africa remains a huge potential for South African retailers, and one where a few have had successes and others remain hesitant to enter. However, most prominent, local retailers have some sort of African agenda on the cards, and are exploring ways to make a success out of this huge market potential.
- Renewed focus on lean, agile and cost effective distribution networks, to ensure maximum use of working capital whilst maintaining critically important customer service-levels.
- At the bottom-end of the sector, traditional or “informal” retail is shrinking with the penetration of big chains into rural and township areas, but remains critically important for big brand owners.
Resolve has a multitude of service offerings that have been tailored to the retail market and its unique complexities in its supply chain. Below is an example of just some of the products and services that can be uniquely configured to the retailer’s operating environment and requirements.