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Shopping Centre Council Presents Cutting-Edge Retail Research Conference This Week

Experience is the theme of the 2014 South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) Research Conference – and it’s an experience that will take place on Wednesday, 9th April as researchers, retailers and retail property specialists come together to dissect the sector’s most recent lessons.

Amanda Stops, CEO of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC)

Amanda Stops, CEO of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC)

Retail, perhaps more than any other sector of the property market, depends on exceptional research.

“That dependence on good research provided the original motivation for a dedicated annual retail research conference, says SACSC CEO Amanda Stops.

“Understanding consumers, unpacking diverse spending patterns, and gaining insight into trade areas is the foundation of a successful retail venture.”

Demographics, as a core input into retail decision-making, is a key topic on the programme.

ReTeam CEP and partner Kathrine Heiberg will be offering a new perspective on consumer demographics, while McKinsey & Co.’s Marnus Sonnekus will showcase the African youth market – with a focus on South Africa in particular.

Since retail research is most meaningful in its application, the conference highlights best practice and case studies throughout the day.

Examples include Urban Studies’ Dirk Prinsloo, who will be sharing the success story of Eastgate Mall’s customer analysis; and Fernridge Consulting’s Sybrand Strauss will table a case study from Lagos looking at retail gap analysis.

“We’ve included in the programme key questions that retailers are asking right now – like: is SA over-shopped? And how are SA retailers evolving,” she adds.

Other sessions will look at demand modelling trends in retail and how best to leverage technology for new insights into consumer behavior, as well as the discrepancy between what mall shoppers say as opposed to what they do.

To end a successful day of learning, the conference winds down with a closing cocktail party to ensure that delegates are not only well informed but also well networked.

The 4th SACSC one-day Research Conference, sponsored by Broll, will take place on 9 April 2014 at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

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