Extend your retail reach with Outdoor

Extend your retail reach with Outdoor

Innovative, practical and effective solutions to business approaches are essential elements in today’s retail environment. In November Shopping & Retail SA had the privilege to meet with a highly successful team in the outdoor advertising arena – and whilst sitting in the boardroom with this team the excitement and enthusiasm in the room was tangible. This is their story:

The innovative directors of SB Outdoor: brothers Daniel, Mendy and Chaim Sarchi

The primary key throughout outdoor retail advertising is: a) effective reach to the target demographic; and b) the ability to communicate effectively with your customer. Truly a science comprising many facets.” – Chaim Sarchi

Focused on one such communication field within the outdoor discipline is a family business which was established five years ago by three very dynamic and enthusiastic brothers. This company has grown rapidly from strength to strength and is now a respected and preferred supplier by media agencies in this segment, to some of the largest local and international brands.

We are of course speaking of SB Outdoor – fuelled, driven and enthused by brothers Mendy, Chaim and Daniel Sarchi.

[During our discussion it was absolutely enthralling to watch this team bounce the ball around the room, each picking up where the other left off – an amazing display of unity, ESP and like-thinking as I have never before experienced. What a cool and together young management team – Ed.]

Outdoor gives advertisers unprecedented control

over how and where their ad is seen

From humble beginnings

Back in 2012 on a visit to their alma mater in Johannesburg, Mendy & Chaim Sarchi noticed that the school sign was looking somewhat ropey. He and his brothers, who were all working at the time, undertook to have a new sign designed and manufactured.

And the rest is history…

The school sign was duly replaced and the resounding success of this first initiative was such that it spurred the trio on to explore other opportunities in outdoor advertising and communication. And so it began. Working from their kitchen at home these entrepreneurial brothers then actively sought out landlords, new shopping malls and retail property owners, offering a range of outdoor advertising options and innovative billboard solutions.

This range of solutions soon became the company’s main focus and hallmark, and was exactly what landlords, property owners and retailers alike were looking for – innovative ideas and professional service.

SB Outdoor honed in even more by concentrating specifically on billboards. And then the business really took off.

Mendy: Unlike TV, radio or print, outdoor is media that cannot be turned off or put down. Viewers cannot fast forward through an outdoor ad as it moves through their environment or they enter the viewing range of strategically placed displays – like billboards. With TV, radio, print and the Internet, consumers have the ability to change the channel, fast forward, turn the page (or miss the page) or close the browser window.

Outdoor is possibly the last place where consumers do not control the ad space. This gives advertisers unprecedented control over how and where an ad is seen. Outdoor is GIVING advertisers more control over their ad space through its unprecedented offering of different media options. This at a time when other ad media are offering advertisers less control.

The company’s first biggish contracts in smaller retail billboards were soon followed steadily by higher visibility billboards on highways and in retail parking areas. Bigger brands across a number of sectors came into the fold, including restaurants, food brands, fast foods, financial service providers, car brands, cell phone service providers and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

The first products developed by SB Outdoor were cable-frame signs, which require little or no capital. Production was, and still is, outsourced to appropriate professionals, whereas systems management and ad rotation sequences – the core of the business – are all managed in-house.

Mendy: We really got traction once one of the bigger property groups came in

with rotational contracts of three months and longer. It was at this point we decided we needed to focus on traditional formats of billboards and building wraps – from highway billboards to billboards in shopping centres. Once that focus happened, and it continues to date, we now continue to secure restaurants, fast food and FMCG clients.

Our Billboards and high impact Building Wraps offer supreme diffusion in a variety of markets and are perfect for both established and growing brands

Daniel: Retail parking areas are high spend environments. People are arriving at a shopping centre to purchase goods – from groceries to big-ticket items. Parking areas are close to where the buying power is – the point of purchase. They are the ideal point to communicate the retail offering of suppliers within and to generate direct income for both the retailers and the property owner.

By advertising within these retail property environs we’re able to give retail landlords what they were looking for, and their retail clients booking with us in turn find the concept very attractive and effective – directly due to the fact that that is where the consumer buying decision is made – right there.

We work very closely with the landlords and see our relationship as a partnership which is built on open and transparent communication, including joint review of monthly revenue reports – and we only take on opportunities that are likely to offer high returns for the landlords and not just sign up and have vacant sites.

SB Outdoor media solutions range from airport mediums through to highway billboards, large building wraps and our media packages. The most popular package the company has developed is a standard format 3×6 meter billboard for the retail sector. It’s versatile, is very easily rotated between locations, is relatively simple to install, and is easy to maintain.

Chaim: We pride ourselves in this 3×6 meter format package. Our focus on this is what has made us a leader in outdoor advertising. The package that we offer our clients, property owners and tenants alike, includes moving these around (rotation) from site to site at two week intervals at no extra charge – for example from Sandton to Pretoria, to the West Rand and the East Rand. This regular rotation almost guarantees the landlord or property owner a fixed income off this structure in their centre; and the retail advertiser enjoys the high visibility and extended reach achieved through frequent rotation without having a high volume of bookings ‘everywhere’.

The success and demand for the 3×6 also enables us to keep the boards let at a high rate.

Daniel: In this short time frame of a few years our client base has grown to include many landlords and property owners from large listed companies to medium-sized and smaller businesses. We are there to meet their needs, advise on their requirements and arrive at a correct solution.

Our solutions hit the spot for both parties, property owner and advertiser – adding value all the time. We make sure that eyeballs are seeing our billboards right outside the shopping centre, with reach, with rotation, and with relevance – in areas that suit the required demographic. Shopping centres see the value of having good brands out there all the time, which in turn brings them good value. We need to get the eyeballs to see these boards – so it’s about marrying the two together… we aim to meet the needs of the landlord and we discuss most strategic positioning – which is why they choose SB Outdoor.

Research shows that static billboards on – for example – a highway route are less effective after two weeks. Rotation every two weeks is most effective, whereas after two weeks the reach “flat-lines” and loses effectiveness.

Geographic footprint

Presently operational in Gauteng and Bloemfontein, SB Outdoor is poised to expand into all regions of South Africa. With initial focus on Cape Town and Durban the company plans to roll out this working model to large and small shopping centres in these regions.

We have a very active sales team,” says Mendy. “And in line with our standard approach of running a lean operation we will work with local professionals in these areas, including print, production, manufacture and site maintenance.”

Daniel on technology and operations:

We will definitely be investing in digital billboards in the immediate future and have already begun negotiations in this regard. There are pros and cons to this technology and we expect to digitalise a few existing sites initially. One advantage is that digital screens anywhere in the country will be managed directly from this office.

With our core staff of nine here in Johannesburg we manage all aspects of sales procurement, site management and accounts. We run a tight ship using a sophisticated, efficient and fully automated operations solution in the office – and we never drop a call.

SB Outdoor is a premier out-of-home advertising company, specialising in billboard and large format communication. The company operates out of well-appointed yet conservative offices in Melrose, Johannesburg.

SB Outdoor’s mission is to provide the most advantageous locations and outdoor solutions which provide the greatest value and return on the client’s advertising investment.

The company takes pride in providing an exemplary level of service by meeting the needs of its clients and providing the most pertinent outdoor communication packages to suit their brand communication requirements and to best complement their vision.

For an assessment to generate additional revenue on your property call SB Outdoor on 011 268 1211 or 083 387 2661

Integrated Pest Management in the Retail Sector Part 3.

Integrated Pest Management in the Retail Sector

Part 3.

Francois Swart

  • By Francois Swart, Director at The Specialists Franchise Group

Pest infestations in shopping and retail environments are not only costing you massive stock losses but will also tarnish your hard-earned reputation in a very competitive market”

Let’s review our previous articles in the October and November issues. We confirmed that pest species require three things to breed and flourish: food, water and harbourage. We also reiterated the importance of an ongoing Integrated Pest Management program on retail sites, conforming to food safety criteria and audited as such. We have looked at housekeeping, exclusion measures as well as biological pest control.

It is a fact though that consumers put value in the cosmetic appearance of fresh produce as well as other goods

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the process consisting of the balanced use of Cultural, Biological, and Chemical procedures that are environmentally compatible, economically feasible, and socially acceptable to reduce pest populations to tolerable levels.

In this, the third and last of our series of articles, we will discuss the merits of using the tried and tested way of dealing with pest infestations through the responsible application of registered Chemical remedies to eradicate a specific pest species.

It is vitally important to understand that do-it-yourself remedies will not give you the required efficacy and that the correct remedies can only be applied by a registered individual, trained and qualified to apply the pesticide.”

The Deltamethrin molecule. Deltamethrin is a pyrethroid insecticide that kills insects on contact and through digestion

Chemical Pest Control

From a treatment perspective the responsible use of registered pesticides by registered Pest Control Operators is always the last resort after Cultural and Biological procedures have been implemented (See previous 2 articles). Chemical pesticides however are efficient, cost effective and a widely used method of dealing with pest infestations. It is vitally important to understand that do-it-yourself remedies will not give you the required efficacy and that the correct remedies can only be applied by a registered individual, trained and qualified to apply the pesticide. Act 36 of 1947 (The Agricultural Remedies Act) provides for this and states clearly that a person that is not registered with the Department of Agriculture and in possession of a P-Number certificate is not allowed to apply pesticides.

Secondly, it is also necessary to make sure that your Pest Control service provider is a member of an industry body to ensure that their compliance on all levels including public liability insurance is in place. The industry body for commercial pest control is the South African Pest Control Association (SAPCA ). Make sure that your Pest Control service provider can produce their membership certificate. If you have a food establishment and are regularly audited by a third party food safety auditor you need to have an on-site pest control file containing all the necessary information amongst other the required certificates, chemical safety data sheets, proof of service and infestation trends. Your Pest Control service provider is responsible to keep this file up to date with all the required information, ready for an audit at any given day.

It is important to note that pesticides are poisonous and formulated with a specific active ingredient to “kill” a specific pest species. Many of the products can be hazardous to people, especially when stored, handled, applied, or disposed of incorrectly. Hence the importance of a trained and registered service provider doing the treatment for you.

Pesticides used in the retail sector are generally grouped into five broad categories depending on the purpose they are applied for:

  1. Herbicides which are used against weeds. This can be used in a retail environment in a mall parking lot to ensure that weeds do not encroach through the paved road surface. Herbicides are taken up by the leaves or the roots of the weed, causing it to die.
  2. Insecticides that, as the name suggests, destroy harmful insects like cockroaches, flies, ants as well as stored product insects. Many of which are found in retail environments causing damages to stock, resulting in financial losses.
  3. Fungicides, which acts against fungi, are sometimes applied in fresh produce packing plants. Generally used to extend shelf life of vegetable and fruits.
  4. Acaricides and Nematicides which protect plants from mites and nematodes. In a retail environment you would want to protect plants in garden centres and retail nurseries.
  5. Finally there are Rodenticides. These anti-coagulant rodent baits are effective against rats and mice that destroy stock and invade shop sales floors as well as warehousing. These products will be used with care by your service provider as they can cause secondary poisoning of non-target species if not applied correctly.

Your Pest Control service provider should mitigate the risks associated with Pesticides by:

  • Choosing the correct registered pesticide product for the infestation.
  • Being familiar with and having intimate knowledge of the product label as well as active ingredients, including any safety or exclusion measures to be followed.
  • Determining the correct dosage, dilution or mixing.
  • Applying the product responsibly, safely and correctly to manage risk for you, your customers and the general public.
  • Ongoing monitoring of pest activity ensuring that the use of chemical pesticides is limited to “only when necessary”.
  • Storing and disposing of pesticides and empty containers properly and in an environmentally friendly manner.
  • Having a cradle to grave audit trail on all pets control treatments and procedures.

Retail consumer behaviour is a complex field, influenced by many economic and cultural factors. It is a fact though that consumers put value in the cosmetic appearance of fresh produce as well as other goods, therefore their purchasing decision will be negatively influenced by pest damaged stock.

The traditional consumer trade-off between “good looking“ products through chemical pest control versus damaged products (no chemicals used) has started changing, as the public endeavour to lead healthier lives and are acutely aware of the need to protect our environment. Therefore the need to apply a multifaceted integrated approach to pest control is crucial. Consumers want to buy cosmetically pleasing fresh products but are also aware of the dangers that chemicals pose to them.

Make sure that your Pest Control service provider actively practice Integrated Pest Management thereby maximising efficacies gained from Cultural, Biological and Chemical procedures to ensure a safe, pest free shopping experience and availability of premium quality products.

For more information, advice and assistance contact The Specialists on:  0860 08 08 08





Revolutionising cash management in Retail

The Cash Connect N10K can process up to 300 banknotes per minute

Revolutionising cash management in Retail

Cash Connect, a leading retail cash management and payment solutions company, has just announced the launch its new N10K cash vault.

According to Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect Management Solutions, the N10K is designed to provide top-of-line functionality for retailers and wholesalers requiring to secure large volumes of cash through high-speed, bulk cash deposits. The N10K is the largest model in Cash Connect’s cash vault range and is designed to withstand the most forceful attacks.

Cash Connect’s Operations Risk Manager with Joint CEO Richard Phillips at the launch of the N10K


Built to minimum SABS category 4 standards and weighing 950 kg, the N10K provides a formidable deterrent. Its innovative design includes a keyless sliding door feature that removes the old swing door that traditionally intruded on available retail space.

Additional features such as biometric user identification, a diagrammatic, touchscreen interface and a fool-proof bag loading system promotes easy and intuitive user operation.

A high-speed validator with a mixed denomination acceptance rate of up to 300 notes per minute makes depositing cash quick and easy. The N10K also offers scalable capacity of up to 10,000 bank notes, with notes being conveniently deposited into a single, disposable bag.

The N10K is the largest model in Cash Connect’s cash vault range – all of which are designed to withstand the most forceful attacks

The N10K is supported by a cloud based, real time, financial management and payments software network that facilitates supplier payments and fast deposit settlement into multiple bank account destinations.


  • Built to minimum SABS category 4 standards

  • Unique floor bolting fixtures

  • Biometric user identification

  • Host to Host automated reconciliation

  • Unique, secure and fully automated door locking mechanism

  • Barcode bag identification

  • Dual SIM GSM/GPRS modem (communication)

  • Capacity of 10,000 banknotes

  • Up to 300 banknotes per minute processing speed

  • Unlimited users and unlimited destination accounts as well as a multi-business partner capability


The N10K is the very latest in high-end cash vault technology available on the market,” says Phillips “It was built to address many of the short comings that traders with large volumes of cash have historically encountered with old styled devices. This cash vault extends our product range and meaningfully improves our ability to enhance the safety and efficiency of our client’s trading environment, as well as provide an effective deterrent against most determined criminals.”

Cash Connect Management Solutions offers an end-to-end cash management and payments solution that encompasses cash in transit logistics and cash processing. Established in 2006, Cash Connect’s specialist solutions for retailers remove risk and maximise cash flow through swift settlements.

The company is one of the largest suppliers of cash to the banking system and boasts in excess of R50 Billion a year that it manages on behalf of its diversified client base across the country. It is an approved service provider to blue-chip companies such as Spar Group, Shell, Engen, Pick ‘n Pay and OK to name but a few.

Woolworths Food tops in Ask Afrika Orange Index 2016/2017 Awards

Woolworths Food tops in Ask Afrika Orange Index 2016/2017 Awards

At the same time that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba was issuing his bleak interim budget, the news was announced that South Africa’s private sector service delivery is at an all-time high.  

Ask Afrika Founder and CEO Andrea Gevers

Although the mood was celebratory at the opening of the 2017/2018 Ask Afrika Orange Index Awards, held at The Venue at Melrose Arch last Wednesday, CEO Andrea Gevers referred to the finance minister’s address with a warning for businesses not to rest on their laurels.

In his speech Gigaba quoted Ben Okri’s poem Poetic Flight which offers the final refrain “You can’t remake the world without remaking yourself” and issued a challenge for all South Africans to remake the world around us. Similarly, Gevers said, “If they want to reap a [healthy] harvest businesses need to remake themselves daily. Those businesses that we see here this evening are the ones that have succeeded in continuously remaking themselves.”

Out of the 32 industries surveyed 29 showed an increase and only three showed a drop. Service levels in South Africa are at their best ever.

The service sector is vital to the South African economy. It drives 60% of GDP, accounts for 63% of employment and of 74% of capital formation. When Ask Afrika started the Orange Index 16 years ago, South African businesses started at a low base, but have steadily climbed year on year. In the early stages of the benchmark, telecoms and banking were rated the highest, they are now at the bottom end of the ranking.

Ask Afrika team with the Orange Index Top 10 Winners

Meanwhile the automotive and food retail industries have maintained top ranking status consistently since 2012 and again held the top two positions, with food retail coming in ahead of the automotive industry for 2017/2018.

Service is a people business which makes it a moving target,” said Gevers. To be successful the sector needs to look at what is happening in society and to approach things from the consumers’ point of view.

We’ve seen that organisations that obsess about themselves or their immediate competitors, will only ever edge forward, they will never leapfrog. We’ve seen this in business and we’ve seen this in politics,” said Gevers.

The 2017/2016 Ask Afrika Orange Index overall winners

It’s not only the winners of the 2017 Ask Afrika Orange Index that had reason to kick up their heels, this year the entire customer services industry had reason to celebrate. This year’s Top 10 winners are:

  1. Woolworths Food

  2. Donna

  3. Cape Union Mart

  4. Miladys

  5. Audi

  6. Sportscene

  7. Burger King

  8. Roman’s Pizza

  9. McDonald’s

  10. Woolworths

Service levels are at their best ever…This is largely driven by technological advances and progress, with systems, and technological solutions and self-help channels and chat bots in place to deliver bigger, better, faster. This massive investment in systems and technology is paying off and ill place the next emphasis on HR and recruitment as the opportunity to differentiate. Brands have mastered systemic excellence, and speed and convenience, the next challenge will be relationships. Not only old people want relationships…everybody does, this is accentuated by technology, wants and needs…whilst the growing systemic success will also make us more demanding, more impatient and probably less equipped to deal with dissatisfaction – said Sarina de Beer, MD Ask Afrika

Technology is top of the trends

The success of customer services can largely be attributed to their investment in advancing technologies and systems. Self-help channels and bots are allowing businesses to deliver on time and more efficiently. But while services are improving there is also a slow shift towards declining emotional satisfaction and a loss of connectedness as a result.

Sarina de Beer, MD of Ask Afrika

With excellent ratings, amazing access to clients, Big Data, world-class systems, AI and chatbots we have the world at our finger tips,” said Ask Afrika Managing Director Sarina de Beer. “The question is ‘what now?’ What will we leverage, how will we integrate and use the current success to build the next tier of success? We need to optimise what we have, use it, go for gold, but find the opportunity to differentiate and be relevant to all our customers’ needs and expectations.

Relationship and connection is the new game, but this is significantly more tricky to conquer than systems and infrastructure. It is significantly more demanding on inter- and intra-personal skills and capabilities.”

Perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

The flipside of the convenience of technology is that consumers are developing an unrealistic expectation of personalised perfection that makes it difficult to deal with the inconsistencies of human behaviour.

The expectation is that every channel, be it Internet banking, online shopping or a company’s social-media platform, should be tailored to specific needs. They should be easy to navigate, be available 24/7 and any issues we have should be resolved swiftly.

As a result when consumers actually deal with a human contact centre, they expect short queues, validation, accurate knowledgeable information and quick resolution. Where self-help channels direct the interaction with a specific set of clear questions and comprehensive answers, human based responses can get messy. After all humans are subjective, frequently get things wrong and their responses can get cluttered.

Ironically, while consumers get the simplicity and clarity they desire from systems, they are becoming increasingly emotionally dissatisfied and lonely.

Comfortably numb behind our emoticons

It might be more comfortable for consumers to deal with bots and processes but it is resulting in disconnectedness and increasing emotional numbness. In a world where humans can rely on a preselected range of emoticons to hide behind online, and curate a personality and lifestyle for others to admire, emotional range is becoming stunted and artificial.

Emoticons are hollow,” said De Beer. “They represent a preselected range of emotions that are not owned by ourselves. We can respond to a statement with an emoticon but we don’t expect to actually have to deal with that emotion.”

If we look at service, reputation, effort, fairness, trust, loyalty and relationships, we see that 65% of consumers collectively state that their emotional experience was one of numbness. ATMs, SMS, and email channels (so non-people channels) do better. When they actually come into contact with a technician the lowest emotional satisfaction is experienced. So our expectations are misaligned.”

A quest for meaningfulness

The customer services industry is no longer about selling a product or service it’s about creating an experience, preferably one that stirs a positive emotion. Successful marketing messages are those that create desirable value statements. Medical aid is no longer just about covering medical costs, it’s about a healthy lifestyle. Cold drinks sell happiness and airlines sell dreams. Consumers no longer aspire to just owning a particular product they want that item to create meaning in their lives.

We want something to tweet about, we post we type we don’t talk, but we need something to share,” said De Beer.

An increasingly exclusive ‘shared economy’

When talking about a shared economy or collaborative non-ownership, we tend to think it’s something new, like Uber or Airbnb, but said De Beer the concept has been around for a very long time. Think stokvels or video shops or libraries. To be a member a person needs to fulfil certain criteria and follow certain rules. To be a member of a library for example, you need an ID and proof of residence, you need to take care of the books you borrow and return them on time.

The difference now is that access to shared economies is becoming a lot more exclusive. To use Uber, for example, you need access to the Internet, a smartphone and in some countries, a credit card.

Interestingly businesses like Uber and Airbnb are coming full circle in an effort to regain control over expectations, consistency and quality. Airbnb is buying apartment blocks and Uber is purchasing fleets.

Tech is the new LSD

Tech has become our LSD, we expect too much on our own terms and have an elevated need for experience,” said De Beer. “We expect more from tech and less from ourselves and our personal relationships.”

On the upside, tech has allowed people a voice and a sense of power parity. Platforms like social media support allow us to protest and people are using it to engage in narratives that increase their social capital.

Tech adapts to my likes on my terms,” said De Beer. “The question is how do you build a relationship without compromise? How do we deal with customer dissatisfaction when they can’t compromise?”

We attach to what we nurture

If we nurture tech that’s what we attach to,” said De Beer. And this disconnected approach is extending to caring. More and more we find that caring is being outsourced to professionals

Take a psychologist as an example. By outsourcing problems, a person gets a full hour to talk about themselves. The professional can offer some insight, but they can’t talk too much and they can’t judge.

What we really need is sociable robots that marry sociability with the convenience of having everything adapt to specific likes and needs. It’s all well and good, but De Beer asks, “Would you let your child have a close relationship with a robotic friend? How do we teach kids the soft skills? Societies fail when we can’t learn together and tech makes us unlearn.

This year we can celebrate lots of hard that has already happened to make this the best year ever for private sector service delivery, but there is still work that needs to be done to connect and build real relationships and real connections with customers.”

Ask Afrika Group is the largest independent South African market research company. The company focuses on local relevance, benchmarked against the global context, and is also a member of European, Market Research Organisation (ESOMAR). Apart from its South African footprint, Ask Afrika Group also operates in a dozen other African countries.