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News that informs and inspires in the retail industry.

South Africa’s favourite township brands revealed

The South African township market is vast and diverse. It is essential that brand owners understand the distinct lifestyle segments within each township and that marketers are able to get a granular understanding of the nuances that lead to brand loyalty.

They are brands that define a common experience and are woven into the fabric of South Africa’s townships – township consumers are wholly committed to them.

To this end, Ask Afrika conducts its annual benchmark Kasi Star Brands survey that goes to the heart of measuring marketing return on investment, and the 2019/20 winners have recently been announced.

Kiwi shoe polish came first this year for the second year running, followed by Sunlight dishwashing liquid, Dettol liquid antiseptic, Lucky Star tinned fish, Checkers custard powder, Coca-Cola, Koo baked beans, Shoprite (retailers), Mageu Number 1 and Melrose cheese spread – the top 10 of the 30 top Kasi Star Brands that emerged from the 162 product categories measured this year.

Nine brands were new Kasi Star Brands entrants this year: Checkers custard powder, Defy fridge/freezers and stoves, Melrose cheese spread, Gillette razors, Sunlight laundry detergents, Capitec Bank and Ava and Always female sanitary products.

Kasi Star Brands are those that South African township consumers are most loyal to in terms of usage, irrespective of background or living standard. Ask Afrika’s Kasi Star Brands are defined by “solus usage”, which means consumers are loyal to only that specific brand within its product category. If a brand’s township marketing strategy is working, then it should have a good Kasi score.

They are brands that define a common experience and are woven into the fabric of South Africa’s townships – township consumers are wholly committed to them.

The winners are brands that have generated critical township mass in their categories and have built a high level of loyalty among township consumers at the same time.

Shoprite Group takes on youth upskilling

Recognising the sacrifices South Africa’s youth continue to make to improve their education, even as youth unemployment reaches 55.2%, the Shoprite Group continues to upskill thousands of people every year. As the largest private sector employer in South Africa, the Shoprite Group believes that developing people’s skills drives its own business and the economy, and its significant contribution to skills development and job creation has transformed the lives of many of its employees and job-seekers.

Multiple training programmes are aimed at upskilling employees to succeed and enhance their careers, and for unemployed young people to gain skills to get jobs or start their own businesses. The Group offers retail training through Retail Varsity, its registered private further education and training college, to ensure that employed and unemployed learners receive industry-recognised qualifications.

The Group is committed to the YES initiative and aims to provide 1 851 unemployed young black people with employment and workplace skills by the end of the 2019 financial year.

Major training initiatives undertaken by the group include: 

Retail Readiness, which is arguably the largest skills development programme ever undertaken by a South African retailer, where the Group has trained 12 850 unemployed youth in the past three years to enter the retail sector or start their own business. On completion of the eight-week training programme, participants receive an NQF 3 qualification.

Assistant chef training, launched in partnership with the International Hotel School, is a four-month NQF 2 qualification training course which has been completed by almost 500 employees. The Group is upskilling more than 4 000 employees from its fresh food departments. Bakery training, a six-week course including commercial baking techniques, has upskilled 40 staff members a year.

A thousand deaf learners have received NQF level 2 training in wholesale and retail chain store operations since 2008. The Group guarantees employment for successful graduates.

102 accounting graduates have successfully completed their accounting articles with the Group's Trainee Accountant Programme to date. In 1998, the Group became the first South African retailer to receive accreditation as a training office with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. 

Score Energy Drink boosts skills development among SA youth

Score Energy Drink, a proud supporter of youth development in South Africa, is giving 300 young people the chance to better themselves with the help of life skills academy, Pride Factor.

Founded in 2014, Pride Factor is dedicated to improving the quality of young people’s lives by inspiring, guiding and mentoring them to challenge their assumptions, broaden their aspirations and develop entrepreneurial thinking through self-guided, web-based courses in life skills and entrepreneurship. These courses, available to teenagers and young adults from the ages of 15 to 25, provide an interactive platform with a modern approach to blended learning.

Score Energy Drink cements its support of youth upliftment by offering 300 students the opportunity to obtain Score-funded bursaries for two courses in the Pride Factor online academy. The courses will run from July until September 2019. Bursaries will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

“It’s a great honour to be part of this wonderful Pride Factor initiative. At Chill Beverages, we are passionate about our country and contributing to a better future for all, a role we take very seriously,” says Chill Beverages marketing director Ross Hobbs.

For more information on the Score-funded bursaries visit

 Standard Bank launches e-commerce service for SMEs

Standard Bank has launched a new e-commerce service for small businesses, that gives them an all-in-one package to get them online and accepting payments.

The product, called SimplyBlu, is a complete service for SMEs, covering all needs for accepting payments, including features to help build a web store and process in-app payments.

The SimplyBlue package includes:

  • Access to a web store builder with drag-and-drop functionality and built-in templates
  • Web store address
  • Web hosting
  • Customisable e-invoices allowing customers to pay securely through email
  • Integration into a payment gateway (MasterCard Payment Gateway) and the bank for web store payment processing ability
  • Ability to accept domestic and international credit, debit and prepaid cards from Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB and Diners Club
  • Transactions are settled overnight into a Standard Bank account.

For SMEs to use the system, they need to apply online and submit the required documentation to get the process started.

Required documentation includes:

  • Valid copies of South African IDs for all business owners
  • Proof of home address for all business owners
  • Proof of business address (even if you operate your business from your home)
  • Proof of banking details
  • Copy of partnership agreement (if your business is a partnership)
  • Copy of business registration documents (if your business is a private company or close corporation).

The product is open to all SMEs, but there are restrictions on the types of businesses that can be conducted. Any illegal activities are prohibited, while gambling businesses, money-making (or get-rich-quick) schemes, and tobacco products are also barred from using the service.