X-Rated South African Retailers

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X-Rated South African Retailers

In a recent newsletter I mentioned that in my view Mr. Price Home of South Africa was one of the best merchandisers I was aware of. That caused a flurry of emails from South Africa offering other retailers I could add to the list. In July, I was working with clients in the country and they insisted on taking me to other entrepreneurial retailers. I’ve called them my X-Rated retailers as they understand their target markets and have developed unique ways of ensuring they hit the bulls eye. Wine Sense – The Wine Shop Think of Cape Town and one thing that comes to mind is wine. There are over 40 wine estates in the mountains that surround the city. If you’re a wine connoisseur or on vacation, life can be one long wine sampling experience. But, what about the X Generation, they don’t have the experience of time, but are happy to purchase bottles of wine. This is where Wine Sense comes in. They understand the new consumer and have put a retail package together to meet their needs. A one stop wine experience. The ‘shop’ contains over 70 wines from the region, but, you won’t find a wine cellar. You enter into a lounge where a unique Italian designed dispensing system provides different sample volumes according to your requirements. Before you start your sampling, you get a key card. You pay for your personal key card and are registered online at a conveniently located computer. This card can then be used whenever you visit a Wine Sense store. You can log on and note what wine you are tasting and rate the wine based on your tasting experience. You develop your own personal tasting profile. The website also allows you to order wine online from anywhere in the world. Once registered you also receive a newsletter on new releases as well as special offers. Does it work? In my conversation with the manager he advised me that the growth in the market was definitely with the X Generation. Baby Boomers and especially female Baby Boomers preferred a more traditional experience. A great example of an X-Rated retailer, check out their webpage. www.winesense.co.za Primi – The Food Experience To become a waiter at Primi you have to attend Primi University in Cape Town and you will also have to be an orphan (due to the aids epidemic in Africa). The Primi I visited was the newly opened Lifestyle Primi in the suburbs of Johannesburg. Not only is this company helping society, but it is also helping the environment. The only thing to leave the premises in a degradable cardboard box for “doggy bag” food that is not consumed on site. As you would expect the meal and service provided is an experience, but they also remembered the most important room, the toilet which is also part of the consumers’ experience. How often have how been to a restaurant and taken a picture of the toilet? Primi does not decorate the restaurant as a fancy restaurant, it’s not their style, but they do exceed with the basics, the customer service, the menu and saving the environment. All issues important to today’s consumer. On “Earth Day” they put up a large screen and screened the Wembly Concert to 1000 paying guests, they are a company whose beliefs will see them grow in the future. Mr. Price Sports – The Ultimate Gen X Retailer Having started this article with mentioning Mr. Price Home, I will finish it with their new baby, Mr. Price Sports. A whole store dedicated to sports. Other retailers will claim they also own this retail ground, but Mr. Price Sports dominates it. All the cheaply constructed shop fixtures are on wheels; this allows them to create flexible “rooms” based on specific sports. Rooms are dedicated to rugby, soccer, cricket, golf, cycling and so on. This flexibility allows them to expand and shrink categories. For example, in July they can expand the cycling category while the Tour de France is on and then shrink it down and expand Rugby in September for the World Cup. Setting the stone up in sports rooms also means they can categorize their merchandising based on a sport. Golf clothing can be placed next to golf balls. This allows the store to easily cross the merchandise and as a result increase the average sale per customer. Plus they can target specific customers; the golf fan can walk straight past the basketball to get to golf and visa versa. I was also intrigued that the flooring was also related to a sports environment. This is not a high capital shop fitted store; it’s a store that meets its environment based on its consumer base. South African retailing is on the move, if your looking for new ways of telling your retail story, a visit to South Africa would not disappoint you. John Stanley is an internationally recognised conference speaker and retail consultant with over 25 years experience in 18 countries. He has authored several successful marketing and retail books including the best seller Just About Everything a Retail Manager Needs to Know. John’s retail experience covers hands-on retailing in supermarkets, hardware stores, garden centres, farmers markets and drug stores. For more information John Stanley and his services visit his website www.johnstanley.cc