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Retailers pump in investments for store format

09
Oct '06
Retail chains in South Africa are remodelling their shop formats and reinventing themselves under this slightly different format.

Both Stuttafords and Woolworths are pumping in fresh investments in customer service to push up sales at their up-market cosmetics sections.

Aiming at taking the retailer up-market and offer a boutique-style service to its clothing clientele, Stuttafords is changing some of the look and feel of its heyday as one of the country's premier department store chains.

Woolworths is going to significantly revamp its limited cosmetics department with introduction of international brands such as Lancôme and Clarins.

More efficient retailers such as Edgars Consolidated Stores (Edcon) and Foschini have captured market share by focusing primarily on core fast moving products.

Homeware has recently become one of the fastest-growing retail sectors, with most clothing chains now selling products for the table and the kitchen.

Edgars had expanded its homeware range and included products that were also available in Boardmans, which is owned by Edcon.

The new approach is to offer stores within a store, which means offering product categories such as cosmetics, clothing, food and homeware in the same store offered customers convenience.

This strategy reflects that of the world's best-known department stores, such as Selfridges and the more exclusive Harrods shops in the UK.

Traditional department stores offered a number of product category sections - such as clothing, linen, gifts, toys, kitchenware and food - all under one roof.

They were generally situated on high streets, were spacious and had high service levels to support their premium-priced goods.


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