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11 8 - Leasing Solution enabling Growth 9 - Farming Solutions Ltd 10 - Top 10 risks for retail sector 11 - Omega Loss prevention 12 - In-store branding 14 - Interview with TRM 16 - One Stop retail solutions 18 - Pictorial 20 - Retail Training 22 - Retail Association 23 - Business trends for online retailers 24 - Understanding Win-Win relationships 26 - Retail tricks to make you spend more Do not miss - Retail Awards 2014 - Retail Forums, Seminars & Conferences


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Dear Reader, Happy New Year!


elcome to our Fifth Issue of Insight Retail Magazine, a quarterly publication whose aim is to offer the retail industry and other interested readers with insightful local and global news, trends and solutions on various retail industry topics.

This issue focuses on Total Retail Solutions which cuts across topics such as retail hardware and software, retail security, retail furniture and fittings, offering retailers solutions at a glance even as some plan their business calendars. We believe that we have just scratched the surface when it comes to retail solutions as much as the issue provides some information among our readers. Thee issue also features our fi first Reta Forum while at the same time spelling out Th rst Retail more of what is to come in 2014 in terms of retail seminars, conferences and the annual retail forum. As you plan your ever busy business calendar, I urge you to keep these events in mind. We also wish to extend our gratitude to all sponsors, delegates and coordinators/ event organizers who made the November 2013 forum a success. Part of our objective 2014 is to introduce the first Retail Awards and Increase our distribution to reach out to East Africa regional scene. We urge our readers to subscribe to the magazine as we endeavor to deliver it at your doorstep. An online version of the magazine is available from the link: http://www.insightretails.com/ magazines. We believe that the magazine will be useful to your organization in one way or the other and welcome your feedback and comments by writing to us on info@ insightretails.com and probably share with us what you would like featured on subsequent upcoming Issue. Finally, we thank all our readers and the general retail industry stakeholders for your continued support and wish everyone all the best in 2014. Happy Reading!

Titus Korir

Project Director & Associate Publisher


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Thiagarajan Ramamurthy Jasper Ouma Trushar Khetia Nthiani Musila

Š2014 Insight Retail All material is strictly copyright and all rights were reserved

CLUB 2013/14





Detacher ŝƐƉůĂLJ ůĂƌŵƐ












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RETAIL ADM the milk purchasing arena through these machines. This innovative agri-business company provides farm fresh value direct to its clients via a convenient automatic dispenser. According to Geoffrey Gitonga, the chief executive of Farming Solutions Limited, the company gets farm fresh milk from farmers, distributes to its dispensing machines all over the country mainly in the urban areas for easy access by the consumers.

Opportunity for Retailers

Farming Solutions Limited

An ADM is able to serve a wide market; low income to high income earners. Currently a 500ml packet of milk is sold at between KShs. 45-50. “With the dispensing machine, anyone can get milk for as little as KShs. 5,” Mr. Gitonga explains.

Farm Fresh Milk on Tap


few years ago, for many city dwellers the concept of dispensing milk through the now popular Automated Dispensing Machine (ADM) was almost a novel concept; most urban milk consumers were used to purchasing processed and packaged milk mainly in pouches and tetra-packs; even though this still remains quite the trend. The advent of ADMs in various retail stores today has continued to change the way milk consumers purchase this valuable commodity in many homes. Similar to how people dispense sodas, candy or even tea or coffee from a dispenser by inserting some coins, ADMs give consumers an opportunity to purchase clean fresh milk too. Behind the ADM concept borrowed from Italy is Farming Solutions Limited, a company which has completely changed Where we have done:

• Tassia Supermarket

In terms of market and management, the ADMs offer a number of advantages. First, it is a crowd puller as it increases traffic into the store/shop; an opportunity that supermarkets such as Uchumi, Naivas, Peter Mulei, East Matt, Kamindi and Homematt have taken advantage of. This is because among many urban residents, milk is a must-buy item for most people especially in the evenings – translating to into increased sales of other items in the store. The ADMs are also being used in some supermarkets in Naivasha and Eldoret towns even as Farming Solutions seeks to sell the concept in most urban centers countrywide.

“Farming Solutions Ltd aims to avail farm fresh produce direct to our clients at significantly reduced rates and conveniently dispensed using strategically placed dispensing machines”

Thirdly, an ADM cuts off possible avenues for contamination as the number of handlers are reduced and once in the dispensing machine milk shop, workers would have no gain in considering adding the quantity of the milk with water as all the monies have to be inserted into a safe box that only the owner has access. The dispensers are also eco-friendly as customer can reuse or refill using plastic or glass containers; this reduces pollution of the environment. Other than retail stores, ADMs can be installed and come in handy for entrepreneurs/investors of milk bars, smaller retail shops and institutions such as schools and hospitals. Celian House, Embakasi Village Next to Total Petrol Station Mezzanine, Room No. 6 +254 722 249 600 info@farmingsolutionsltd.com http://farmingsolutionsltd.com h




Low-growth consumer markets Despite growth returning to the world economy following the recession of the last three years, this risk remains significant. The recession underlined a structural shift to a low-demand growth environment in the developed world: retailing in Europe is “a zero-sum game where a player’s gain is another’s loss.” That is Win-Loose Model on Retailer supplier Relationship but the optimal situation is the Win – Win model.

Regulation and compliance Traditional regulatory interactions centered on the rate case are being supplemented by often-contradictory pressures regarding environmental impact, efficiency and security of key infrastructure.

Inability to control costs/rising input prices Analysts interviewed noted that “Low margins mean that costs [have] major effects on profitability.” 73% of retail respondents had focused on cutting sales, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, while 11% had targeted costs of goods and services (COGS).

Inability to benefit from e-commerce The objective of lowering carbon emissions from power generation continues to drive the transformation in the industry, but the failure of governments to meet key emissions objectives means that policy is at a crossroads. Market-based approaches to carbon pricing are losing out to direct regulation of emissions.

Wrong price image Price image can often be more important in determining sales than


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Top 10 Risks for Retail Sector Low margins mean that costs [have] major effects on profitability

actual product prices. Adjusting complex pricing and branding strategies to adapt to trends such as shifting consumer behavior is therefore a constant challenge.

Supply chain disruptions Recent “black swan” events have highlighted the vulnerability to supply chain disruptions of companies in both the developed world and in emerging markets. Some companies may elect to reverse some cost saving procedures to attain more supply chain control and flexibility.

Inability to penetrate emerging markets “Especially for Western companies, understanding emerging markets is an undeniable (but blatantly obvious) opportunity,” as one retail analyst noted. However, in order for foreign retailers to operate efficiently in emerging markets, they need to achieve a critical mass in terms of stores and revenues.

Failure to respond to shifting consumer behavior During the recent recession, consumers reduced consumption,

cut back on lavish and impulsive shopping behavior, and increasingly used online pricecomparison sites. This change in behavior may be so far off the trend line that a return to prerecession consumption patterns may no longer be realistic.

Sourcing In a less globalized world in which all retailers in a market tended to source their products from the same country, sudden locationspecific risks had little impact on the relative competitiveness of market players. However, in a globally diverse market where retailers tap into different geographical locations, sourcing risks can have large impacts on costs, profitability and market position.

Volatility in commercial real estate markets Retailers are impacted both directly and indirectly by real estate market volatility. In addition, retailers need to stay ahead of real estate trends, such as the demand for commercial real estate shifting toward more dynamic, smarter, greener facilities. Source: http://www.ey.com/Retailrisks


Omega Loss Prevention OMEGA Risk Management Solid Loss Prevention Program, critical to a company’s success According to industry insiders, retail pilferage or stock shrinkage from a formal retail trade perspective is estimated to be worth more than KShs. 200 billion. It has been reported that the retail sector could well be losing more than KShs. 3 billion annually to shoplifters among other shrinkage avenues. As retailers struggle to invest in the best mechanisms aimed at reducing such huge losses, OMEGA Risk Management, a Risk Management and Loss Prevention Company is one such solutions’ provider that retailers could consider investing in. “Our focus is on providing loss prevention, asset protection, risk management, safety awareness and investigative services to our clients,” explains Thomas Mbewa, the company’s Business Development Manager. Loss Prevention Officers are trained to carry out bags’ checking, covert operations, CCTV monitoring, customer service, receipt checking, random stock counts, incident observation and reporting, apprehension of shop lifters, deterrence of potential theft, investigations and court prosecution. Prior to deployment, these officers receive specific customer service training that is a unique combination of the client’s customer care training and our own technical training. They are trained to take a friendly and helpful customer oriented approach while remaining vigilant against losses.

There are different types of Loss Prevention Officers; the screening officers found at the entrance that will frisk both clients and staff. Secondly, receivers whose responsibility is to receive stock as well verify goods supplied in terms of stock and paperwork. Another set of Loss Prevention Officers are stationed at the dispatch section, which Mr. Mbewa notes is where most marginal losses are incurred mainly through vulnerable items such as electronics and other equipments. These officers will normally check and reconfirm on the goods/items bought correspond to the receipt. Floor walkers and CCTV operators work hand in hand, first to help in staff manage who at times leave retail floor unattended. These officers also coordinate efforts aimed at curbing the shoplifting menace which is rampant thanks to the emergence of organised cartels between the shop’s staff and outsiders. The final category of the Loss Prevention Officers are escorts who will normally help pull a client’s shopping trolley mostly to the car however at a shopper’s convenience. This prevents the shop’s staff from getting in and out at times with an already stolen good or waste man hours in the name of escorting a customer.

Staff Outsourcing Mr. Mbewa notes that other than being able to manage a retailer’s risks, retail outsourcing is the way to go taking into

consideration that a retailer’s core business is not staff employment. Other than being an affordable option, it reduces the high chances of staff collusion as well as managing other human resources issues such as medical, pension, overtime, transport and welfare amongst other factors. Global research, not limited to the retail sector has revealed that companies who prefer to outsource some of their operations have reported reduction in losses of up to 60%. But even as OMEGA Risk Management seeks to penetrate into the supermarkets arena, the company plans to introduce its services in other businesses such as oil marketers where huge losses are being reported in LPG and lubricants’ section, manufacturers’ at the stock-taking level, distributors where huge losses are reported while goods are in transit as well as the motor industry (spare parts section) where mechanics are forking out more at the expense of their employers. “At OMEGA, we believe that a solid loss prevention program is a critical component of a company’s success. Aware that no two companies are the same, our approach is to develop customized solutions that fit into the culture of a specific organization,” Mr. Mbewa says.


Audit, Risk and Security Assessment

Event Security

Vetting and Background Research CCTV monitoring


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crowded shelves will get a rare honor of being bought when isolated from the rest through the use of a free standing display or an in-store branded unit. In-store branded units come with benefits which marketers ought to take advantage of. Products displayed in branded units are isolated from the rest in the pack thereby becoming more visible physically, giving them an added advantage of spatial contrast. Secondly, the products are more attractive as the display units are normally lit bringing out the products. In a consumers shopping experience, it always feels good to the consumer to pick their favorite brand from that unique display. This intangible good feeling while interacting with products, accounts for a significant number of purchases.


Branding “That will be KShs. 450 Sir,” says the gentleman at the till. You think to yourself, “Hmm…how come?” as you dig deeper to fetch the extra cash. You later remember that you picked a chocolate bar at the Cadburys Gondola end display unit. Indeed the chocolates were looking very nice on the well done display which wooed you to get closer the sugary treats. For marketers the key to their success is to attract potential customers to see, pick and buy that certain product or service. This attraction to products is what in-store branding is all about. In other parts of the world it is referred to as Visual Merchandising (and display) and defined as the activity or profession of developing floor plans and three dimensional displays in order to maximize sales. The Kenyan consumer environment is becoming increasingly demanding. Our supermarket shelves are fully stocked with same function products from multiple brands for instance, there are more than seven kinds of cooking oil, chocolate bars, bread, rice, cooking flour and tomato sauce and the list is endless. Sometimes choosing what to buy takes a longer time as previous experience while using similar products but of a different brand proved near same quality and satisfaction. In such instances, products which seem less visible from the


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Products displayed in branded units are isolated from the rest in the pack thereby becoming more visible physically, giving them an added advantage of spatial contrast.

Supermarkets sell space. So every square foot is monetized. The more efficiently one utilizes his square footage, the higher the chances of making more sales. Taking advantage of the possibilities of advertising within the store environment seems like a logical thought taking example of the Cadburys unit, in addition to the brand artwork on the tins which zone the region where the product is displayed. The unit can be branded giving the product more visual space, therefore more memory space in potential customers’ brains, which in time may translate to more sales. For marketers, when sourcing for your In-store branding consultant, endeavor to get concepts that will work and not those that will propose a gaudy unit at the expense of your product visibility. Floor plans need to be interlinked seamlessly, flow freely and give a unique experience to customers as they interact with products. 3D rendered plans give unique views of proposals before approval is made by top level management to effect changes in showrooms/ branded stores. Always remember that brand confidence in general is boosted by in-store branding partially, which spotlights specific products in an increasingly crowded shelf environment. Mr. Nthiani Musila is the Managing Director of Madline Concepts, an Interior Design Firm that develops concepts for In-store Branding. Email: nthiani@madlineconcepts.com Web: www.madlineconcepts.com


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The Retail Interview with Thiagarajan Ramamurthy With more than 10 years of direct retail experience, Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, Regional Director - Strategy and Operations, Nakumatt Holdings; popularly known as TRM has curved a niche as a brand positioning strategist and business turnaround architect with a wealth of experience business development for sustainable, proôtable development and growth. Insight Retail talks to TRM about Nakumatt’s quest in becoming a Pan-African outôt as well as the general overview of the retail sector

Briefly touch on your professional background/experience I am a science graduate, with business management qualifications and 41 years of professional experience in operations and management of business. I have also managed to pack more than 10 years of direct retail experience with an additional 10-year period of retail study on the ground in various countries such as USA, UK and the Middle East. My retail study has been focused on business positioning for sustainability and profitable growth.

How does Nakumatt distinguish itself from the rest of the brands in the market? Nakumatt’s positioning is anchored on strategic differentiation. We have literally been rewriting the retail rulebook for the benefit of our customers who we refer to as smart shoppers. We have managed to, innovatively roll out unique services and products such as; Round the Clock branches, Value packed private brands (Nakumatt Blue Label and Nakumatt Select) a robust loyalty program and provide the widest stock variety possible.

What are some of the notable developments/ achievements for Nakumatt in 2013 and what should the market expect this year? As a fast growing business, we cannot afford to be complacent. For this reason, we are engaging in a number of key business development initiatives. Among others, I can confirm that we have acquired the Samsung Consumer Electronics franchise license. We have also received franchise operators licenses from Disney, Clarks and Skechers lifestyle footwear for which we shall be rolling out a number of concept stores across the East Africa region. A few months into the launch of the Nakumatt Global Prepaid MasterCard, we are now set to unveil Kenya’s most integrated online retail shopping platform.

What are some of these winning strategies that a retail business ought to have in place? Retail is all about meeting the needs and aspirations of people and by being a part of their life style improvement. Sincerely recognizing and identifying with the client(s), as a trusted brand delivering value for money is the most crucial ingredient in retail management. It is critical to secure a mass customer base for retail business so that you can confidently plan


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your strategy to meet their present and future needs.

Briefly touch on Nakumatt’s expansion strategy and is the market still in need of more of your stores? All economic indicators in this region confirm that the regional retail market is still largely untapped. Take for example the fact that formal retail penetration in Kenya is still way below the 15% mark. This simply means that more than 85% of the population does not access their retail services from a formal operator. On the macro level, with a population of more than 120 million people in the five East African countries, the addressable market is still vast and open for more retail operators and branches. Take the example of the 47 Kenyan counties. The fact is, more than 30 county headquarters do not have a mainstream supermarket branch. In my view, if 10% of the population were to patronize the modern/formal retail, the market size in terms of value would be US$ 7 billion per annum! This indicates the vast opportunities and scope for expansion.

Comment on your departmental stores’ strategy. As mentioned above, Nakumatt’s growth strategy will involve the signing up for the exclusive operation of departmental stores aligned to premium global brands in key retail categories such as footwear, cosmetics, toys and consumer electronics. By incorporating such a strategy, Nakumatt is embarking on a strategic bid to enhance its in-store retail offering, which is geared at maintaining a premium edge; in response to growing customer demands and market trends.

There have been reports indicating that South African investors are interested in venturing into the Kenyan supermarket scene? What seems to be attracting them here? In my personal view, South Africa is, saturated with formal retail players. For this reason, most of the retailers have been exploring opportunities to move out and expand beyond the country. Most of them are already, established in West and

EXECUTIVE FOLD Central Africa and East Africa is but a natural progression. Remember, East Africa is the emerging market and Kenya is a growing market for retail. As a progressive company, we actually encourage local and international competition. We are confident that we have learnt a lot about retail in this market and we are well equipped to thrive even if the global players were to enter this market.

What competitive edge do these foreign retailers bring through such investments? Our worthy competitors, for whom we accord the necessary respect, bring to these shores a variety of best practices such as information technology integration.

Research indicates that 78 percent of Kenyans use informal retail shops while 20 per cent use formal retailers- out of this only a mere 30 per cent are frequent users of supermarkets. Does this make supermarkets’ a viable business then to many a Kenyan? The main driver for retail growth is market demand. Despite the challenging economic environment, demand for formal retail services has more than doubled largely fuelled by economic lifestyle changes associated with urbanization and globalization. Consumers have moved their preferences and now enjoy shopping in formal retail outlets than in informal outlets. However, penetration of retail outlets is still low at an estimated 20% coverage across the East Africa Region. This means that 80% of Kenyan retail market comprises of non-formal outlets such as kiosks and small corner outlets. Formal players such as supermarkets still have a long way to go into raising their penetration rate.

Vision 2030 identifies the retail and wholesale sector as a major contributor to the economy’s growth, what is your comment on this? Modern retail is the engine for the economic growth. It offers direct and indirect employment, supply chain expansion, real estate development packaging, logistics, and training and financial services development. For the government, this sector provides much needed revenues to the exchequer and is one of the leading collectors of consumer taxes such as VAT. At the same time, The National Economic Survey 2013 recently placed the wholesale and retail sector as the second most important economic driver. Traditional

economic drivers such as the agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors have in recent years continued to register depressed growth against new generation front runners such as the financial intermediation and wholesale & retail sectors. From this perspective, the role of the retail sector in fostering economic growth is clear. However, lack of a retail growth policy despite its mention on National Development strategies such as Vision 2030 has served to stifle growth. In my view, there is an urgent need to formulate a retail development policy before it is too late.

What new branches are in the offing; locally and regionally? As at the end of 2013, Nakumatt’s branch network stood at 47. The branch network includes 44 Nakumatt stores across East Africa and one Clarks Footwear store, One Skechers Lifestyle store and a new fully-fledged, children’s toys retailing store branded as Kids & Co. by Nakumatt. Plans are underway to boost this branch outlay by 10 more branches this year.

What is your opinion on private labels as a concept in Kenya and how have your clients embraced it? Private brands are an established retail concept in all retail chains across the world. The main driver for private brands growth in the global retail scene is the need to extend value to quality and price conscious customers. By nature, your loyal customers tend to trust your brand and in turn appreciate that store brands are, formulated to guarantee value, and quality. Globally, private labels such as Nakumatt Blue Label account for more than 20% of total retail sales globally as value-seeking consumers increasingly continue to cast their brand preference nets wider. International retailers are, estimated to be stocking about 40% and 50% of private brands in their respective stores. To this end, Nakumatt Blue Label and Nakumatt Select are distinctive private brands with an investment outlay of more than KShs. 200 million, introduced by Nakumatt Holdings in Kenya and Uganda. The introduction of these brands was, dictated by a market survey that affirmed the need for such a variety of products. So far, the market reception for the Nakumatt Blue Label line of products has been overwhelming. Barely, a year into the launch of our private label products the sales, have been growing at a rate of

about 40-50%; that is very encouraging.

In your opinion are private labels taking over the shelves compared to other products (direct) from the manufacturers? Rather than introduce other fighter brands in existing categories to avoid dilution of existing mainstream brands through unnecessary price wars, we are only keen on introducing our private brands. Secondly, by working closely with select manufacturers, we have managed to negotiate competitively priced production costs. These products are, manufactured expressly for Nakumatt thus enabling the manufacturers to cut unnecessary production and distribution costs. The savings, accruing are, subsequently passed over to our Smart Shoppers by way of lower shelf prices. All our private label products compete with all other brands on a level playing ground. A retailer’s role is to provide brands that meet the unique needs of our customers.

Nakumatt’s loyalty program is one of the most successful programs. Explain the changes/new developments that the program is/has gone through, subscription levels and advantages of the program to the subscribers. The Nakumatt Smart card, which was, introduced in 2003, has grown to 1 million holders in 10 years. We have, now promoted this card to Nakumatt Globalloyalty/prepaid card with a better value proposition to the cardholders by offering 50% more points at Nakumatt for the same amount spent at Nakumatt and offers Nakumatt points across the world in 33 million outlets where MasterCard is accepted. It is a multi-currency card currently allowing you to hold six currencies at any given time. With the PAY Pass feature, you can also tap & go, at parking lots and soon in matatus. These will double our loyalty as we intend to issue over 2 million cards. You can combine all the points from all the cards from your family and redeem at Nakumatt.

Thiagarajan Ramamurthy is the Regional Operations and Strategy Director at Nakumatt Holdings. He can be reached through trm@nakumatt.net or facebook / TRMNakumatt or follow him on twitter / @TRM_Nakumatt


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Manish Mehta CEO Total solutions ltd,

One Stop Retail Solutions For more than a decade, Total Solutions Limited (TSL), a fully Kenyan owned integrated ICT solutions provider continues to provide its existing and new clients IT services able to turn a business’s concept into reality. Insight Retail Magazine talks to Manish Mehta, the company’s Managing Director on how TSL is focused on bridging the gap between equipment and business functions to ensure that information is managed quickly and efôciently by designing and implementing quality business solutions. Briefly describe Total Solutions core success and what kind of products/ services you deal in and your market share with regards to your products from a Kenyan perspective? Who is your target market? TSL has been in existence for the last 12 years. The company’s success from year to year is attributed to the heavy investment in building resourceful professionals with a strong foundation in infrastructure enabling staff, resources and expertise to exhale within the ICT industry. TSL’s five divisions are; • Retail Solutions (POS Hardware, POS Software, Retail Security & Retail Mobility Solutions)


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• Fiscal Solutions (KRA approved ETRs ESDs And Fiscal Printers) • Hardware, Software and Technical Solutions • Business Solutions (ERP, CRM & Business Intelligence) • IT Consumables and Accessories Our products and services cater for the entire spectrum of businesses from small retailers to multi store operators, Corporates and large Multinationals. Give an in-depth of your various retail products and services. TSL prides itself in offering complete solutions for the retail sector covering retail hardware, software and security. In addition to this, we complete the one stop experience for the customer with our hardware, software and fiscal solutions not only in retail but also in distribution and mobility. The company supplies and supports a wide range of products from key high end brands keeping in mind its philosophy of quality, reliability and service. Some of the global brands include Partnertech, Metrologic, Symbol, Motorola, Datalogic, Zebra, Epson, Cherry, Bixolon, Secugen, Nisca, and Century.

We also recognize the demand and market segment for mid-range products by investing in affordable, economical and reliable products under our own TSL brand. What necessitates the demand for the (above) retail products? The demand for some of our brands is derived by extensive growth in the retail sector coupled with a growing middle class who have changed the traditional model of shopping to the formal self selection. This in turn has ensured that retailers strive to offer solutions that support the latter. This has also spurred retailers’ growth in terms of multi branch stores from single retail outlets. At the same time they need to invest in solutions like control and security to support all business dynamics from a central source. Secondly, with the fast changing trends in several industries, there is need for accurate and fast information from a management perspective to help make informed decisions. Equally the emergence of digitally driven consumers who need fast access to information has also driven retailers to the next level of retail mobility. There is also a growing need for customer loyalty which retailers

COVER STORY continue to invest in as they seek to capture their customers’ trends and preference informing retailers on what to stock at a certain time and location thanks to retail Intelligence. Where do you source your products from and are they sourced based on mass orders or just have enough stock all the time? TSL stocks products from various markets in and out of Kenya. An important aspect here is ensuring that we have quality products that serve our wide clientele. Of importance too is affordability as we ensure that clients purchase products within their budget. Depending on client’s specifications, we also source and supply products to suit customer specific solutions. Are there any market trends in some equipment or solutions due to customers’ preference and re-customization? Is this possible from your end? With the fast changing trends in the retail sector, we foresee a growing demand for mobility based retail solutions. E.g. in-store staffs have need to access stock and reporting information on the go using mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. Also increasing need for mobile sales would require mobile point of sale and mobile ERP solutions. In additional to mobility solutions to cater for the above we also have solutions for a wide range of retail operations, including supermarkets and hypermarkets, convenient stores, restaurants, shops and boutiques. On software customization, it is worth to note that this varies from client to client due to specific operations. At the same time, our ERP solutions work across various sectors and can be customized to fit customer needs and preferences. What concerns do you have that the Government should intervene? We would hope for a review of the VAT Act on some essential IT products and solutions to further deepen and grow the ICT sector as expected in the government’s blueprint strategy Vision 2030. A waiver on some of the duties related to such products would also make them affordable and reduce entry of affordable products. On the EAC regional integration, if fast tracked would help in the movement of goods and persons which I believe would grow businesses within the region. Do your products come with warranty and service support levels? Any repayment plans like asset finance in place for your customers? All our products come with warranty. We also provide multiple support level agreements after the warranty period, to support and protect the client’s investments. We already have leasing and rental models for software solutions, and are working with strategic partner institutions for financing models on hardware solutions. What is in store for Total Solutions in 2014? Currently TSL has operations in Kenya and Tanzania, with offices established in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Arusha. We intent to extend our operations to Uganda within the second quarter of this year. We also seek to grow our network channel through partners and resellers, while focusing on enhancing additional retail products in the market.

Total Solutions Ltd Level 3, Amee Arcade, Parklands Road, Westlands, P. O. Box 43427 Nairobi 00100 Kenya. Tel: +254 20 3747007 / +254 20 3749056/7 Fax: +254 20 3749058 E-Mail: info@totalsolutions.co.ke http://totalsolutions.co.ke


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Introduction to Retail Training “Are Retailers born or made?” This is one of the many questions that I keep wondering about, especially when I look at several successful retailers with fairly modest education backgrounds. There are several very prominent and founding fathers of retail trade in the world that did not get an MBA or such academic tags and yet they are quoted in Business Journals all over. In Kenya, we have a number of retail “gurus” that would compete comfortably in any economy.

decisions on whether to train or not. In the present age, this is an investment that cannot be ignored. Additionally, retailers should train for the following reasons: • Increase productivity – your staff get to know what they are expected to do • For Performance Management – helps you to set standards for performance • For Consistency in Product Quality and Service - no mistakes

This leads to my next puzzle “Can you create a Retailer?” Like all professions, there are fundamental characteristics or personality profile that would be ideal for a leader in retail. For instance, a retailer has to be very patient, able to operate long hours and open to meet different people positively.

• For Employee Retention – empowered and motivated

Presently, however, retail has developed systematically to the point that you can professionally separate the specific functions that combine to make it complete. People are now specializing in various aspects of retail – merchandising, customer service, marketing, supply chain, category management, marketing and floor selling amongst others. Because of this, retail staffs qualify for training, subsequent performance appraisal and YES you can create a RETAILER.

• Social Responsibility – improve society

Why Train Staff? Although training is a costly exercise, there are several reasons why it should be undertaken by the retailer, especially now when our consumers are very enlightened and know what they want out of an outlet. Decision makers know that training has direct impact on the bottom line, and this generally slows


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• To be Competitive – be in line with the market • To Remain Current and Relevant - not to be left behind with “fashion” and demand shifts

Types of Training There are various types of training open to the retailer, depending on the stage of staff development. These include; • Functional Training – This is the foundation training for all members of staff, it can be in the form of orientation, information or general introduction to operations of the organization. If this is not done, you will have staff that lack direction, they may end up being inducted by others who may have already developed bad habit and shortcuts. Ideally needs to be conducted by internal staff, but can be supplemented by outside trainers on specific areas like customer service. • Management Training – This

is the type where you equip your managers with specific skills that will enable performance monitoring and implementation of controls. For any staff to be promoted to the next level, they need to be subjected to this type of training. This training is very specific and would generally require an expert from outside at least to start the process. But it is important that managers within the retail are allocated designated duties that will ensure that skills imparted by the trainer are adhered to and successfully implemented. • Technical Training – There are specific technical jobs in the retail where you are supposed to recruit staff that are already qualified and possess the skills you need – for example IT, Maintenance and Finance amongst others. However, you may have noted that some junior staff has the potential, but not the qualification. Such staff can be trained and fit them into specific positions. You may also have Technical requirements for growth – ISO standards etc – such require technical training.

Trainers I give credit to

many retail organizations for setting up active human resource departments to manage the human capital, and also spearheading the training activities. Most retail organizations outsource the trainers, who come and perform their one or two day action and move on. It is fundamental that training is supported from within; especially the CEOs personal seal has to be evident for it to be effective in the long run. Yes! Get the professional trainers from outside, but ensure the total participation of the following from within the organization; • Senior Company Management – especially CEO • Management and Team Leaders • Fellow Staff members/Team members • Technical Specialist for specific activities Let training be a continuous activity in the retailer’s strategy. Let the cost be a secondary consideration.

Caution! on Training After training, it is important to provide the right environment for application of skills acquired through this training. If this does not happen, the retailer will lose staff to competitors or even to total different industries. Training opens the minds of staff and sometimes gives them courage to demand some rights (that is the reason why some retailers avoid it). Therefore after an effective training, the retailer should be prepared to accommodate staff with higher skills. Remember, training keeps you smiling to your customers!






Jasper Ouma Chief Trainer and Proprietor Distribution Management Systems Ltd (DMS Ltd) jasper@dms-train.com Cell - 0722726055


To register call Esther/Titus on: info@insightretails.com


RETRAK SCORE CARD 2013 In a year that has been filled with several political economical and social challenges in Kenya, RETRAK hit the ground running with several events that made this once brilliant idea, a brilliant reality. With initiatives such as the ‘Chomoa Coins initiative RETRAK is already making a significant impact in the lives of the Kenyan people, where they need it most…their pockets! One of the greatest lessons learnt in 2013 was taught to us by the Westgate tragedy. We learnt that when we come together as one, there is nothing impossible! It is in this same spirit that RETRAK strives in the upcoming years to have all retailers in the nation come together under one umbrella, to enact the necessary changes the retail sector needs.

RETRAK’s Activities 2013 Within its first year of operation, RETRAK hit the ground running and its impact is already being felt in the retail industry. Below are a few highlights from the year 2012-2013;November 2012 – RETRAK partners with Central Bank of Kenya and the Kenya Bankers Association among others, to promote the recirculation and use of coins. September 2013

RETRAK article is published in the Daily Nation Newspaper. The article addressed the lack of clarity in the VAT BILL and offered suggestion on how the process could have been handled better.

October 2013

RETRAK hosted a dinner event at the Fogo Gaucho restaurant in Westlands. This was a formal introduction of the Association to the industry players. Coming soon after the Westgate terrorist attack of September 21st, 2013, it was also used as a show of solidarity with members of the industry, who had outlets at the mall, mainly Nakumatt, Deacons and Mimosa Pharmacy. Industry players took time during the dinner to analyze the attack and discuss lessons learned from it in relation to security, human resources and stock handling.

November 2013

RETRAK together with other stakeholders endorsed the first Retail Forum organized by Insight Retail East Africa in Nairobi’s Eka Hotel. The aim of this forum was to give industry players access to new ideas solutions and innovations which will take their companies forward. During the same month, RETRAK hosted two meetings for the Human Resource Managers of members and non-members. The purpose of this is to formulate the creation of a database where members would in future share their employees’ information, so as to discourage “recycling” of employees blacklisted with vices such as shoplifting, theft, immoral behavior amongst others.

RETRAK Activities 2014

• • • •

Continuous aggressive recruitment of members. Hold training sessions with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and member accountants. The employee database will be up and running by March 2014. Engage the Kenya Copyright Board, Music Copyright board and seek solutions to retail challenges. • RETRAK will join Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) so as to better engage the government and other business bodies. • Address the issues of environment by supporting recycling of e-waste such as electronics, mobile phones & reuse of paper bags. Wambui Mbarire – Administrator E: admin@retrak.co.ke


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etailers world over continue to operate in a fast changing environment, where customers now have a wider selection of merchandise to choose from and the possibility to shop around by just a few clicks of a button. With access to an increasing number of media platforms and easier and cheaper mobile accessibility, customers become more informed, opinionated and ultimately this can lead to them either being brand advocates or critics.


Various factors impact a customer’s purchasing decisions and with traditional bricks and mortar retailers moving into the e-commerce space, a company should consider the following must-have components to ensure that it can remain competitive, if not differentiated, from its competitors in 2014.

Inward supply-chain 2013 was quite a tough year for many general merchandise suppliers in terms of getting to grips with product and stock data management requirements of e-commerce players. They (E-commerce players) and their general merchandise partners will have to work together in 2014 in an attempt to reduce areas of “operational friction”, ensuring they attract new online customers and ultimately providing existing ones with

2014 business trends for online retailers

a great online shopping experience.

Providing shoppers with more options, better services and lower prices is imperative and can largely only be achieved through a supply-chain that runs smoothly.

Increased content marketing Content marketing, in terms of hosting tips, advice and interesting facts on your website, will continue to serve as a key catalyst for building trust and demonstrating intent for e-commerce players and one can expect to see increased budgets in this area.

Overcome search engine optimization challenges The ever-changing Google Algorithms will dictate more focus on creating unique lifestyle-focused content across all platforms and mobile applications. Companies should consider creating content using blogs, videos, Pinterest and Instagram to name a few. This type of content creation and sharing are mainly driven by consumers and enable businesses to build communities and creating dialogues relevant to such a community.

Create a curate shopping experience

providing more targeted and relevant suggestions to shoppers, you create the feeling of a company that cares, listens and knows what its customers want. A company should ensure it breaks through the clutter, providing customers with more personalized tools, newsletters and websites.

The “shop anywhere, anytime” experience Retailers should be prepared to give their businesses mobility across all devices, as the online shopper’s use of the traditional desktop and laptop is diminishing. The massive increase in mobile phone and tablet e-commerce being experienced will continue to witness an even steeper upward trend in 2014. If you are not focused on taking your mobile shopping experience to the next level, then be prepared to lose market share, especially during key seasonal shopping events such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day. There is no doubt that e-commerce will continue to see exponential growth in 2014, but industry players will have to remain focused on what it takes to build a great brand. The upward trend in online shopping will only continue if we provide shoppers with a great online shopping experience.

Big data is a major contributing factor to an e-commerce player’s success. By INSIGHT RETAIL | ISSUE 05 | Q1 - 2014

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Do we understand WIN-WIN


“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others” – Nelson Mandela


he above intelligent words come from one the greatest people to have walked on this planet. Having served over 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid hero, politician, and philanthropist who also served as the first black President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Surely, he had been through enough of life’s experiences when he gave this simple piece of advice on negotiating. This brings me to the reality today. When we are engaged in any business discussion whether as a buyer (retailer) or as a seller (supplier), do we truly have the other parties’ interests at heart or are we only keen to drive our own agenda regardless of what happens to the other party? Too often the answer is the latter. During the recent successful Retailers Forum 2013, as part of the key speakers


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on the day, I covered the topic of retailer-supplier relationships indepth exploring all the different issues surrounding this beautiful and complex element of business relationships. The most interesting thing I wanted to share with you is that at the start, when we had a negotiation role play on a new detergent’s supplier looking to get listed in a supermarket, only 2 out of 8 tables managed to come to an agreement in the time limit I had given them. This was a room full of experienced and knowledgeable retailers and suppliers, yet most of them failed to reach a simple agreement. This was only a role play, so you can imagine that the real world situation is even tougher. So why did this happen? The single most common element in the tables that failed, was that both parties (retailers and suppliers) were ‘selfish’ in their behaviour in that they were only interested in benefiting their own positions by either asking for too much (retailers) or giving too little(suppliers). On the other hand, for the 2 tables that succeed in reaching an agreement, each party was keen on building a

relationship with the other, working together to reach a common goal which was to get the new detergent product available to the consumers on the shelf. So what is important here is the mindset you go in with before a negotiation. Do you truly have a WIN-WIN scenario in mind from the beginning? And what does WIN-WIN truly mean? How do we get to WIN-WIN positions? The 5 types of relationship scenarios in any business case are as follows. We first have WIN-LOSE, where one party wants to win and make the other party lose. For example, I know I have a product that is slow moving, yet I lie about its performance in order to get a listing. The second scenario is LOSEWIN. This is where you purposely look to lose so that the other party wins at your expense. This is something you can choose to do for the long term gain of the relationship, eg, giving one free display to your supplier in return for knowing that they will invest or pay for many other types of promotions and activities in your stores. Third, is WIN! This is where your intention is only for you to succeed without having

any motives (good or bad) for the other party. This is quite common in business, where as long as we get what we want, we don’t care whether the other party gains or loses. Their outcome is not our concern. Eg As long as our product is listed, we don’t care whether it performs or not in the supermarket.’ The worst scenario is LOSE-LOSE. This is where the deal does not work in anyone’s favour. You both intentionally go out there to hurt each other badly. In this scenario, no one wins.


This brings me to the ultimate relationship scenario. A WIN-WIN. This means you want to succeed and you also want the other party to succeed with you. It is important to note here that it is not about ‘who takes the bigger slice of the cake?’ The question you need to ask each other together is ‘how do we make the cake bigger for both of us?’ WIN-WIN takes a lot of practise and the willingness to be open to give and receive so that everyone benefits. For this to happen, you truly need to understand your retailer/supplier. What are their goals, their targets, their ‘turn-ons’? What can you give them in exchange for something of equal value to you? How can you add value to each other? This is the effect of synergy, which allows us to achieve greater results together than if we were to work individually. For this you need to change yourself as the great Mandela said. You need to have an open mind, a big heart and most importantly the ability to LISTEN keenly to the needs of the other party. Show how you can help them get what they want and at the same time also get what you want. If you master WINWIN, you will achieve tremendous results in your business and life.

Coming Up... Register your Retail outlet on the programme

I would like to sum up all of the above by quoting the famous industrialist Henry Ford on win-win relationships: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” It is time we all started implementing WIN-WIN in our lives.

Trushar Khetia - Founder & CEO Cell: +254 722 523 333, +254 738 523 333 Email: info@tria.co.ke www.tria.co.ke

Contact details: t: +254 735 350 690 / 0725 350 690 e: awards@insightretails.com www.insightretails.com INSIGHT RETAIL | ISSUE 05 | Q1 - 2014

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That Make You Spend More


here are times you find yourself saddled with bags full of things you did not intend to buy when out for shopping. It helps to look at why you overspent as you may be succumbing to merchandising tricks carefully designed to coax you into spending more than you intended. From the colorful displays to the music playing in the background, a lot of research has gone on behind the scenes to nudge you into buying products that are not on your list. The smartest retailers know the environment you shop in - and the products you encounter -- can subtly influence the choices you make. If you are trying to rein in your spending or keep on budget, experts recommend you watch for telltale signs of retailers’ alluring tricks. Here are some of the most common:

Jumbo size shopping carts Most stores will encourage shoppers to use a shopping cart. The larger the cart…probably the better. People tend to stop


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when their cart is full thus if it is a larger cart it will take longer to fill it up giving an opportunity for more purchases. According to money-saving experts, the trick here is to skip the cart altogether and use a hand basket instead which will limit how much can be put in there.

Seducing your senses

It is always better to go in with a shopping list. That way you are less likely to be tempted by impulse purchases.

It is never a coincidence that most supermarkets, when you first walk in, you are walking through the food shelves; it could be the bakery, deli or confectioneries which look or smell nice. Many stores also use additional sensory cues, such as soft lighting, music and scent to influence how you feel when you are walking through the aisles. According to Philip Graves, author ‘Consumerology; take note of the extra sensory cues that are influencing how you feel about a particular item. That way, you are less likely to be influenced by them. “We’re contextual creatures,” says Graves.

Engineering which products you see first While scanning a cereal aisle, you may have noticed the priciest cereals are at eye level while the bargain bags are at the bottom; one such tactics stores use. The eye-level space is more expensive while if you are more interested in the bargain goods, you will have to crane or bend over to seek those items out. Some stores will also stack items of varying prices together in order to make a middle-priced item look more attractive. Do not just grab the first item you see displayed take time to compare different items in the same category so you know which one is a better deal.

Inviting day-dreaming Another tactic retailers sometimes use to increase sales is to periodically change the store layout. That way, you are more likely to bump into something new. Retailers also frequently pair complementary


items together on separate displays in order to trigger new ideas. One way to satisfy that is to pair products that tell a story about what you can do with them. For example, if you see party caps and birthday candles paired with colored disposable plates on a store shelf you may think about your kid’s upcoming birthday and how nice it would be with the colorful stuff. That storytelling leads to additional purchases people may not have originally planned. It is always better to go in with a shopping list. That way you are less likely to be tempted by impulse purchases.

Luring bargains Many retailers heavily discount items just to get you in the store. They know they can capture more sales once you walk through those doors thus they do not mind losing money on certain products. Retailers may also try to push you toward a more expensive item once you are there, so be prepared. Another common tactic is to offer 2-for-1 deals, which many shoppers automatically feel there is a better value when multiple products are involved. In addition, retailers will bundle items together to make it appear as if you

are getting a good deal. People will just buy the pack of 24 rather than the individual one because they assume that it is cheaper and they do not have time to stop and check every item. If you happen to be encounter such, simply do the math. It is important to understand how the offer is applied. Often those multiple deals are suggestive. They want you to buy 10. But you do not necessarily have to in order to get the deal. Similarly, be wary of bulk purchases. Sometimes it is actually cheaper to buy the individual item than in the bulk.

Fiddling with prices Research shows that small changes in the way a price is displayed can make a significant difference in how it is perceived. For example, Clark University Professor Keith Coulter found that if two horizontal numbers are placed far apart, the discount between the items seems greater than if they are placed closer together. Similarly, if a sales price is displayed in smaller font than an item’s regular price, Coulter found that the sales price seems more affordable than if it was displayed in larger font. “The economic value hasn’t changed. All you have done is manipulated these perceptual cues,” explains Coulter.

An important tip here is to evaluate a potential purchase based on how much you think it is worth (try using a price comparison smartphone app, such as Amazon’s Price Check App), rather than on how much a retailer tells you it used to be worth.

Faking popularity Retailers may promote a product as being in high demand by commenting on how many of the same have already been sold or warning you that it is almost sold out. In addition, they will try to increase sales by limiting the number available. If you limit access or opportunities, then the perceived value goes up dramatically.

Look before you buy The next time you enter a store, take a moment to notice your environment and scan the store for different ways it could be tempting you into purchases you did not plan to make. That makes it less likely that you will be influenced unconsciously by those things when you are making purchases. It is also a good idea to create a list and a budget ahead of time. The most powerful thing a shopper can do is to go with a predetermined sense of what they are going to buy and a budget.


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| ISSUE 05 | Q1 - 2014

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Insight Retail 05 Q1,2014 (Jan-Mar)  

Insight Retail 05 Q1,2014 (Jan-Mar)