Future of retail under the spotlight at the 19th SACSC Congress in Durban

Amanda Stops, CEO of SACSC.

The 19th annual Congress of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC), taking place in Durban this year, will feature illuminating insight, animated engagement and vigorous debate as shopping centres and retailers shine a light on the opportunities and challenges of the current market.

Providing access to the latest thinking, innovation and information about shopping centre and retail trends in South Africa and across the globe, the congress will feature a superb line-up of presentations by the industry’s brightest minds.

The retail sector’s annual flagship event, sponsored by Property Finance at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking, will take place at the International Convention Centre in Durban, from Wednesday, 30 September to Friday, 2 October 2015.

Amanda Stops, CEO of SACSC, says: “Simplicity is the theme of this year’s congress. In our rapidly changing world, we’re all trying to find clarity in chaos. Our programme responds to this. We’re delighted at the prominent speakers that will reflect on our industry’s burning topics. They collectively represent a vast and very valuable compilation of knowledge, which will benefit delegates enormously. We’re sure it will be filled with many ‘light bulb’ moments that will redefine the way we look at shopping and retail. ”

Robin Lockhart-Ross, Managing Executive: Property Finance at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking, comments: “The aptly themed congress comes at a time when we need to focus on the needs of the consumer without losing sight of advancing technology, and how this aides toward simplifying retail offerings. We are pleased to once again partner with the SACSC in advancing the retail sector.”

Derek Watts, one of South Africa’s leading broadcasters, has been secured by the SACSC to be the host of the congress. It features a glowing speaker line-up, designed to ignite new thinking and innovation for the fast-paced retail sector. The high-profile summit features many local and international leading lights in a power-packed three-day programme.

Keynote speakers include Futurist and Strategic Advisor at London-based Fast Future, Rohit Talwar; New York Times best-selling author of ‘Essentialism’ Greg McKeown; Director of The Oval Group Patrick Bruce; and President of GENCO Group John Genovese, who previously headed Westfield Development.

From shopping centres of the future, to the newest technological advances, the sessions are designed to switch delegates on to the latest trends, prospects and solutions.

Speakers will focus the prevailing economic conditions and share their understanding what this means for the future. The merging of physical and digital worlds, the experience of retail, and the shopper are all themes that will be explored to equip shopping centres and retailers to perform optimally.

Making up an important highlight of the congress, the SACSC Pioneer and Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented by SACSC President Nomzamo Radebe.

The congress also features an exciting exhibition and offers many networking opportunities. The highly-anticipated event attracts a wide range of industry professionals. Thanks to its relevance and valuable insight, congress delegate numbers continue to multiply each year. Conference goers come from across Southern Africa and further afield to attend this popular event. They include stakeholders from the shopping centre and retail sectors alike, such as investors, developers, marketers, designers, analysts and strategists.

“This year’s programme reflects the innovative and challenging times our industry faces. It looks at South Africa’s role in the global village of retail, yet focuses on our unique local context. It is also ablaze with new ideas and inspiration on every level. We are confident this year’s SACSC Annual Congress in Durban will empower delegates by cutting through chaos to get to the heart of the big issues that face us,” says Stops.