SA’s Home-Grown Retail Innovators Step Into The Spotlight

While speakers from around the world will share insight into global retail innovation at the 17th annual Congress of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) this week, some of the most inspiring retail success stories will come from right here in South Africa.

Amanda Stops

Amanda Stops, CEO of the SACSC

Supported by the International Council of Shopping Centres and sponsored by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, the Congress is being held in Sandton with the theme “Un-Cover”. It is the largest gathering of retail and retail property professionals in Africa.

“As financier to many retail shopping centres across South Africa – spanning both rural and urban areas – Nedbank’s support of the Congress of Shopping Centres is aimed at ensuring that the industry moves to greater heights by keeping abreast of trends and technology. The array of speakers at this year’s congress bear testament to the diverse and dynamic nature of the industry and the wealth of knowledge that exists therein,” says Frank Berkeley, Managing Executive: Nedbank Corporate Property Finance.

“South Africans can be incredibly proud of our world-class and exciting shopping,” says Amanda Stops, CEO of the SACSC. “Our home-grown retailers represent some of the most inspiring retail in the world today.”

From a single humble restaurant, Nando’s has grown some 1,000 restaurants in 26 countries. Co-founder of Nando’s, Robert Brozin, will share an inside look at how and why Nando’s chicken not only crossed the road, but international borders.

Adding to the appeal, Brozin’s influence is most prominent in Nando’s marketing strategy – irreverent, fun and topical adverts, which have now become synonymous with the brand.

Grant Dutton is MD of the lively and energetic vida e caffè. His tenacity and vision saw the company grow from three local stores to 72 spreading across five countries, and he has contributed immensely to the brand’s 12-year success.

“The success of the vida brand lies within the simplicity of the concept that always strives for that perfect synergy between a unique and a consistently excellent customer experience,” says Dutton. He’ll be shining the light on how this espresso bar endeavours to be the best, and what this takes.

Taking fashion retail forward, 18 months ago set out to conquer the rapidly growing local online shopping market as South Africa’s best online fashion destination. Already it has expanded its range, including home and beauty, and gone from strength to strength.

With online retail or e-tail being the watchword and the catchword for retailers right now, Sascha Breuss, Managing Director at will bring his global perspective to this local success story.

From this retail new-kid-on-the-block to a South African icon retail founded 155 years ago in 1958, Stuttafords has had its ups and downs but in recent years it has reinvented itself. Hilton Mer has been at the helm of, and directing, the Stuttafords renaissance as Executive Chairman at Stuttafords International Fashion Company and Stuttafords Stores retail department stores in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

Mer will take delegates through the tactics behind this revival and how introducing the added core concept of international monobrand outlets is contributing to Stuttafords resurgence.

Putting its best foot forward for local retail at the SACSC Congress is Tekkie Town which owns and runs more than 230 footwear stores in South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho. Headquartered in George on the Garden Route, Tekkie Town employs more than 1800 people.

Braam van Huyssteen is the Founder, Managing Director and owner of Tekkie Town, explains how giving shoppers great brands and great prices is a winning recipe. The SACSC Congress will take place from 11 – 13 September 2013 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

For more information about SACSC’s 17th Annual Congress email or visit

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