Newsletter 7 of 2019

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Newsletter No. 07                                                              1 March 2019

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South Africa’s TFG Achieves E-Commerce Leadership with Oracle

TFG (The Foschini Group), a South African retail group operating in thirty-two countries across five continents, has chosen Oracle to support its digital transformation strategy with the consolidation of twenty-two brands into one online marketplace. With close to 3000 stores, TFG migrated its brick-and-mortar offering to a hassle free digital platform and now offers the myTFGworld.com online marketplace to its customers.

“We sought to create an experience for our customers that would allow for a comprehensive, one-stop-shop across our brands, as well as provide other products outside our normal offering like flowers, kids toys and digital gadgets. Our aim was to build an omni-experience for our customers; whether in-store or in their homes; offering a service that would enable us to better respond to their needs,” says Brent Curry, CIO at TFG Group.

Curry explains that the marketplace is built on Oracle’s ATG platform, allowing for seamless, interoperable, functionality across existing software and hardware, “Oracle’s platform has enabled us to integrate existing technology seamlessly, allowing us to save on costs, increase efficiencies and achieve the desired business benefits in optimal time. We truly saw the benefit of the system in 2018 with Black Friday, growing 24% year-on-year, and over the Christmas period being able to, without fail, through MyTFGworld.com, provide customers with a flawless shopping experience”.

Core to its digital strategy, TFG through MyTFGworld.com will see the ongoing introduction of products and services, ensuring that the business achieves its desired 5% of business revenue, driven by online shopping, by 2025. The company is keeping bricked stores as its core business focus, however changing and adapting to the ever increasing needs of its customers. Plans for the coming year include experiential and personalised services in-store, offered through the introduction of connected-technology and a TFG application.

“South African retailers are increasingly looking to technology that they can use to improve their operations, better understand and engage with their customers – using both off- and online channels – and set themselves apart from the competition,” says Derek Bose, Applications Country Leader, Oracle South Africa & SADC. “Retailers need to have a comprehensive digital presence in order to stay relevant. This is especially the case in developing markets, including in Africa, where mobile devices are their primary means of access to the internet. With Oracle, TFG is able to provide customers a seamless, personalised shopping experience and grow its online customer base.” African Retail

Falke launches their AW19 Fashion Collection

Jen Scholtz Scholtz

Falke invited media and influencers to be the first to preview their AW ‘19 collection – just in time to #UnlockWinter.

The event was held at The Stack on Tuesday morning. Guests had the opportunity to have a sneak peak of the latest mens and ladies fashion collections, followed by a quick run through of the products by the Falke team. Guests were treated to delicious canapes and drinks while interacting with the product through fun activations where they had a chance to win product. All guests were spoiled with an exclusive goodie bag containing some of the AW `19 collection.

The autumn/winter 2019 Falke range illustrates the wonderful symbiosis between the individual themes and shows their harmonious connection – divided into four trend directions: Mutant Colours, Pride of Colours, Weightless Colours and Block Matching Colours.

A chief marketing officer who works with 12,000 luxury brands says consumers are caught up in ‘logo-mania’

It’s no secret Gucci has made a comeback.

As Krystle Craycraft, the chief marketing officer of the online fashion assistant ModeSens, put it, “Gucci has made a fabulous comeback, and they are maintaining it, which is kind of amazing.”

The resurgence for the 98-year-old company arguably began in 2015, when its newly named CEO,  Marco Bizzarri,, hired Alessandro Michele as creative director. Its rise in popularity continued through 2018, when the company saw huge growth in online sales. Google’s Year in Search report listed Gucci as No. 5 on a list of most searched fashion brands In addition, previous Business Insider reporting showcased Gucci as one of the McKinsey Global Fashion Index’s 20 major companies leading the global fashion industry.

Today, Gucci remains one of the hottest fashion brands in the world. Alongside the creative genius of Michele, credit for its popularity goes to millennials and  celebrity promotion, along with the revival of ’90s logo trens. Ruth La Ferla, who described logo-mania in her November New York Times piece “What Gives the Logo Its Legs” acknowledged Gucci as one of many brands contributing to the trend.

Craycraft said Gucci remained one of her company’s most in-demand brands.

When asked about today’s status symbol, she confidently answered with one of the brand’s leading accessories: “We have been selling a lot of Gucci belts. It’s always changing, but a lot of  Gucci belts. People really love them, it’s Gucci-mania still … because it’s an affordable piece, and logo-mania has been a trend over the past couple of years.”

Gucci belts retail on the company’s site beginning at $350 (R4,860) but can sell for upward of $1,000 (about R13,890). Customers can also turn to sites such as Craycraft’s ModeSens, along with the competitors Lyst and ShopStyle, all of which catalog locations in which belts may be available for lower prices.

“In terms of our consumer base, the majority of our consumers are high-end shoppers,” Craycraft said, “but we do still have a contingent that are just buying that one piece or a couple pieces that they really just have to have, and Gucci belts seem to be the ticket for everyone, across all segments.”

Alongside belts, the Gucci designs include logo T-shirts, sweatshirts, and bags. Bags range from classic purses with the brand’s traditional dark green and red stripe to more trendy, boundary-pushing styles that use bright colors and velvet, something Business Insider’s Jessica Tyler observed after visiting a New York store.

I think that while Gucci has some pieces that are out there,” Craycraft said, “they also have their timeless, classic bags – and even new styles that still feel timeless. Customers are gravitating towards those styles since they know if they invest in them, they will have those pieces for many years to come.”

Despite its comeback, the brand has recently made headlines for one of the latest scandals in the fashion world. On February 6, Gucci issued an apology following the release of a  $900 (R12,500) wool balaclava sweater that people said resembled blackface. The company removed the sweater from both in-store and online sales. Prada faced similar controversy in December for a charm that people said resembled blackface imagery. Business Insider US

Did you know……..

Blue is the color of loyalty, which explains why U.S. police officers wear blue uniforms.

Lipstick is one of the most common items you’ll find in a makeup store, but did you know that one of the main ingredients is fish scales?

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