“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.
Irish playwright, critic and political activist George Bernard Shaw.
With changes in technology, consumer behaviour and trends, retail and shopping centres need to evolve now more than ever, in order to keep up. 2018 will experience drastic changes in tax regulations and fuel levies which will affect consumer spending, shopping patterns which may go on to create new trends.
The Annual South African Council of Shopping Centres Research Conference aims to inform and prepare delegates for these changes by focusing on the evolution, research and the education which is necessary to satisfy consumers whilst nurturing the retail and shopping centre industry in South Africa.
In its eighth year, the conference takes place on the 9th of May 2018 at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton.
“We have industry professionals, local and international, who share their ideas and suggestions at the conference and keep shopping centre professionals up-to-date with these trends. We started Research Conference in 2011 with the main objective of enhancing and satisfying the need for more information on trends, technology and customer information with regards to retail and shopping centres,” says Chief Executive Officer for the SACSC, Amanda Stops.
This year, attendees can look forward to presentations by:
- Kundayi Manzara, Director of Sesfikile Capital.
- Justice Malala, Political Commentator.
- Lebo Motshegoa, Managing Director of Foshizi.
- Dr. Martyn Davies, Managing Director, Emerging Markets and Africa for Deloitte.
- Moses Mushirivindi.
- John Ryan, Retail Analyst and Journalist for Retail Week.
- Margaret Constantaras, Independent Consultant for Research IQ.
- Nikolay Dolgov, General Mananger, Point of Sales tracking for GFK SA.
- Nicolet Pienaar, Business Group Manager for GFK SA.
- Steven Burnstone, CEO Eighty20 Consulting.
- Ray de Villiers, Futurist for TodayTomorrow Global.
- Lebogang Mokubela, CEO of the Lemok Group.
“The future of shopping centres lies in their ability to cater to less obvious needs of its customers. It is no longer just about running competitions and tenant mixes. Shopping centres play a bigger role in the lives of their customers-more than they know. The opportunity lies in unpacking and uncovering these less obvious needs of the customers and create a brand that caters for this. Suppose a shopping centre has vacant shops, and the customer who often goes to a restaurant in that centre doesn’t necessarily go there for the food but for the free WIFI and a space to work. The shopping centre can use the vacant store to create a co-working space where such customers can work and utilize the centre’s WIFI. The increase in dwell time will eventually translate into a bigger spend per head as well as customer loyalty. I cannot wait to share my insights to those in attendance,” comments Lemok Group CEO, Lebogang Mokubela. He is looking forward to presenting to delegates on the ‘Evolution of Retail in the Digital Age’ and how to utilize the digital age optimally to gain market share and customer loyalty.
Cushman and Wakefield is the official sponsor for this year’s conference.
Nomzamo Radebe, CEO of JHI – part of Cushman & Wakefield Excellerate comments:
“The research results and information that is shared at the event equip us with valuable insights that can directly impact our success in this dynamic industry. At a time when consumer-behavior is becoming increasingly difficult to predict and influence, and technology is developing at a rapid pace, it is imperative that we seek out information that empowers us. To be aware of developing trends and being able to adapt and respond to them proactively, is how we can maintain our competitive edge. The benefits of a conference like this are enjoyed across this industry.”