SACSC’s 2019 Research Conference to highlight ‘Afripolitan’ consumers and technology

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

The 9th Annual South African Council of Shopping Centres’ Research Conference is set to take place at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton Central on the 3rd of April.

This year’s conference will focus the spotlight on retail trends, new ‘Afripolitan’ consumers and technology.

Sponsored by Excellerate JHI, the conference will host more than ten keynote speakers, bringing 300 industry executives, professionals and thought leaders together to share ideas, to gain valuable insights and to network at a power-packed one day event.

Now in its ninth year, our popular Research Conference has become an established annual retail property industry event in South African and the continent. The event focuses on trends and technology. However, with consumers being at the heart of our industry, this year we zone in further to get a better understanding of what ‘Afripolitan’ consumers want and marketing to African consumers” comments SACSC Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Stops.

The confirmed speakers at this year’s event include:

  • Naeem Tilly, Head of Research, Sesfikile Capital.
  • David Smith, an Equity Analyst, Investec Securities.
  • Mike Vincent, a Director at Deloitte.
  • Cedric Sennepin, CEO of Leroy Merlin SA.
  • Andrew Smith, co-founder and CEO of Yuppiechef.
  • GG Alcock, Founder of Minanawe Marketing and author of KasiNomics, Third World Child, Kasinomic Revolution.
  • Dr Ankit Katrodia, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of KZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership,
  • Doris Viljoen, Senior Futurist at the Institute for Futures Research.
  • Jess Jorgensen, Director at Instant Grass International.
  • Jessica Passtore, Senior Analyst – Competitive Intelligence, Whole Foods Market.

Whilst Naeem Tilly and David Smith will talk about South Africa’s economic and consumer outlook as well as the state of the retail market, Mike Vincent’s presentation looks at whether South African retailers are ready for the ‘connected retail revolution’.

Leroy Merlin’s Cedric Sennepin will talk about the French DIY retailer’s entry into the South African market and how to reinvent the future of retail. Yuppiechef’s Co-founder and CEO will speak about establishing one of South Africa’s first online stores and how Yuppiechef is now operating physical stores.

In a presentation dubbed ‘The Age of Afripolitan’, GG Alcock will talk about marketing as well as understanding and communicating to modern African consumers. Dr Katrodia will present a ‘Case Study at Durban Shopping Malls’ which investigated the determinants of shopping and buying behaviour.

Meanwhile, Viljoen will present a futurist’s overview of how emerging technologies and South African realities could shape shopping centres over the next ten years. In the conference’s closing session, Jorgensen will speak about influencer marketing in the retail sector, whilst Pastore will look at the next generation of shoppers and how consumers are evolving.

“We have got an exciting and diverse line-up of speakers at the SACSC Research Conference this year. It is a not-to-be-missed industry event and we look forward to hosting another great conference,” says Stops.

Well-known broadcasters Gugulethu Mfuphi and Bronwyn Nielsen are the conference facilitators this year and robust discussions are anticipated.

Nomzamo Radebe, CEO of JHI – a Division of Excellerate, says the group is proud to sponsor the SACSC Research Conference.

We are delighted to once again be partnering with the SACSC to further knowledge sharing and innovation within the South African retail industry. Faced with an incredibly fast-changing, disruptive and complex economic environment, we believe that deep-seated research, knowledge sharing, and out-of-the-box thinking is essential to long term success and sustainability for all stakeholders. This year, we place emphasis on understanding the ‘Customer of the Future’, as well as how retailers can leverage technology to provide tailored customer experiences,” she adds.