• Supply Chains Now Critical

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  • Global Bedding Defies COVID

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  • South African Technical Goods Sector Continues to Feel Reverberations of July Unrest

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  • Miele’s Cleaning Trifecta

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Supply Chains Now Critical

South Africa’s retail model has changed dramatically in the last 18 months, partially driven by the pandemic and lockdowns, which vastly accelerated the growth of e-commerce and altered buying patterns. This has put pressure on the distribution element of the logistics chain, which has had to adapt to these shifts in demand. Optimising processes lies at the heart of the ability to store, manage and deliver stock at the pace required today, which is where business process outsourcing (BPO) can play a pivotal role.

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Global Bedding Defies COVID

The world mattress market amounts to around US$30 billion, registering an overall good performance mainly due to sustained demand for mattresses in major markets and an increase of online sales, which have also continued during the lockdown periods. CSIL forecasts for world mattress consumption are positive both in 2021 and 2022, even if with different performances in different areas and countries.

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South African Technical Goods Sector Continues to Feel Reverberations of July Unrest

Photo: Nicolet Pienaar, Head Marketing insights GfK.

According to research from GfK, Africa’s technical goods retail sector continues to feel the aftershocks of the looting and rioting in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal in July.

Nicolet Pienaar, Head of Market Insights at GfK South Africa says: “A month after the looting, the South African technical consumer goods market is still feeling the after-effects. While Kwa-Zulu Natal is seeing encouraging recovery in sales of IT and telecoms products — perhaps due to consumers wanting to keep safe and stay home — we’re seeing countrywide week-on-week declines in fridge, televisions and washing machine sales.

“This is the direct result of the destruction of key manufacturing facilities as well as the ransacking of inventory from warehouses in Kwa-Zulu Natal, compounding existing component and product shortages due to COVID-19. We’re expecting that fridge, televisions and washing machines will continue to feel the pinch for most of the year, as manufacturers work to fully restore their supply chains.”


Miele’s Cleaning Trifecta

Powerful and well designed, Miele’s TriFlex HX1 cordless stick vacuum cleaner trumps all others with its innovative 3-in-1 design for maximum versatility and performance.

Miele has been a global leader in vacuum cleaners for decades – setting the standard with regards to reliability, performance, filtration, aesthetics, energy efficiency and sustainability.

Its latest addition to its range is the TriFlex HX1 cordless stick vacuum cleaner, which has been making major inroads since its launch in 2020. Miele’s Jon Molyneaux says that it is easy to understand why this vacuum cleaner is proving to be so popular: “Simply put, Miele’s TriFlex HX1 over-delivers on every front – offering maximum flexibility during use and storage, best-in-market cleaning results, a 20-year lifespan, supreme energy efficiency and streamlined good looks.”

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Testing Electronics for Connecting Appliances

Electrolux, one of the world’s largest home appliance manufacturers, has invested a lot of time and effort in recent years to enhance its electronic systems testing capabilities to optimize the quality of its electronic solutions. At the heart of these efforts is Nicola Tonello, global laboratory methods competence leader, whose experience in electronics, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) analysis and problem solving, quality analysis, root cause analysis, and continuous improvement, has helped Electrolux develop products that are both reliable and user friendly.

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Interior Trends Being Driven by the Individual – Not The Trade

Margaret Hirsch, Executive Director of the Hirsch’s Homestores Group holds a monthly virtual Property Workshop with viewers logging in from around the country to listen in on Zoom and FB Live.

Under discussion at the most recent Property Club, talk was the latest Trends in Interiors. Margaret’s Guest Speaker was another Margaret, Margaret Westerhof, Founder of Margaret Rose Interiors in Ballito.

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New Electrolux SA MD Murray Crow Outlines Plans for Africa

Consumer trend to cocoon at home after lockdowns a boon for electronic appliance sector.
Spike in consumer home sales of small appliances, dishwashers and office equipment.
Massive growth in solar heating on the continent expected.

International home appliances maker Electrolux expects strong demand to continue as a result of the stay-at-home trend prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murray Crow, Electrolux Managing Director for South Africa, who recently joined the firm, commented; “For so many of us, our homes aren’t just a place to live – they are offices, schools, gyms and so much more. With people spending so much more time at home, we are seeing a lot more interest in home improvements. It is our expectation that locally we will see positive growth in 2021 in terms of volume, price and product mix.”

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Slumberland Introduces Ecolux Beds

With so much focus on the critical need to reduce humans’ impact on our planet, increased attention is being paid to reusing and recycling whatever is possible. This is resulting in greater technological advances than were previously thought possible.

One advance is in the field of plastic recycling, where plastic waste is being transformed into various fabrics and forms of astonishing quality.

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Revamped, Ready in a Week

After just a week of clearing up, shopfitting and replacing appliances, the Hirsch’s Superstore at Springfield Park that was looted and trashed by vandals in July, was up and running and ready for business. The Hirsch’s branch was amongst several stores in the area that were vandalized and looted in that dreadful week and was the first to re-open. Commented Margaret Hirsch (Executive Director of Hirsch’s) at the re-opening of the store. “We were determined to bounce back – and thanks to a massive staff and community effort, we have done so! I am so proud of our team and would like to thank everyone involved in helping to get us back to normal.”

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Three Customer Experience Strategies you’re Missing

By Ndagi Job Goshi, GM Liferay Africa

The battlefield to win your customers’ business is fraught with the opposition that only seems to grow more powerful by the day.

Customer experience leaders have been hard at work investing in beautiful UX, intuitive navigation, and winning strategies, but is that enough? Is there something that leaders are overlooking when it comes to creating a unique customer experience?

Customer experience is often and correctly thought of as “customer-facing” experiences. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind how important internal operations are to the success of these experiences.

No matter how nice your digital presence is or how well planned your strategies are, your customer experience will fall flat if the organisation’s internal operations are inefficient.

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