Yuppiechef launches Johannesburg stores

Kitchen and homeware retailer Yuppiechef celebrated the opening of two new stores in Johannesburg, on the same day. The six-time winner of the South African eCommerce awards and relative newcomer to the world of physical retail, Yuppiechef opened its doors in both Sandton City and Mall of Africa on Friday, 28th June 2019.

Yuppiechef CEO, Andrew Smith, says that the two Johannesburg stores represent a new era for the award-winning brand. “Since the launch of our first physical store two years ago, and with four Cape Town branches now thriving, we’ve always had Joburg customers asking us when their turn was coming, and now we’ve opened two at once. We’ve found the right locations in two world-class centres, in Sandton City and Mall of Africa, and we’re thrilled to finally see our brand brought to life in Gauteng.”

Yuppiechef has pioneered the concept of omnichannel retail in South Africa and Smith says that the vision for Yuppiechef in Johannesburg is no different. “We’re hoping that our customers in Gauteng will see us as Yuppiechef – not an online store, or a shop they pass in their local mall – but rather a single retail brand that they can choose to interact with on their terms, wherever and whenever they feel like it.”

The two new Yuppiechef stores will carry a selection of the products available on yuppiechef.com, but should an item not be available in the store, customers can order it while visiting the store and have it delivered to their preferred address. “Through the combination of our online and physical stores our customers have access to a much broader range, bigger than any single store offering,” says Smith.

The Johannesburg stores will follow the design principles of the other four Yuppiechef stores with an industrial feel and premium features including the iconic wooden panelling and engineered quartz countertops. The stores boast a “no queue” point-of-sale system which means that customers can pay for their basket of items at any position in the store, aided by a store assistant.

Smith says he’s excited about the possibilities that the new stores present for Yuppiechef, “We want to reach as many people as we can, because ultimately, our belief is that quality kitchen tools and ingredients can change the way you feel about being in the kitchen and help you be a better cook – and that’s in our DNA across all of our channels.”

Yuppiechef was founded in 2006 by two good friends and only 32 products in a lounge in Plumstead, Cape Town. More than a decade later, our simple goal remains: To offer you the best kitchen and home products—and to be the very best at doing it. Yuppiechef emerged out of co-founder Shane Dryden’s love for cooking and cool kitchen tools.

Yuppiechef is South Africa’s premier kitchen and homeware store, stocking 700 of the world’s leading brands. From knives, cookware and appliances, to soft furnishings, craft beer and the finest food ingredients; we’ve tried, tested and sourced the best quality products we can find, for you: people who really care about cooking, entertaining and hosting at home.

Katale Square to bring a new shopping experience to rural Marapyane

MDS Architecture has designed a 11 000 m2 shopping complex in Marapyane outside Settlers in Mpumalanga province for clients, McCormick Developments.

“The area is flat and arid, so the design includes both internal and externally focused areas. While the design is utilitarian, it also promotes human interaction and a sense of fun,” explains Aki Savva, MDS Architecture’s partner leading the project.

The restaurants open out on the lifestyle and children’s play area, features water fountains and protection from the hot sun. Shaded canopies can also be found throughout the complex.

Playful elements have been incorporated into the flooring and paving at the entrances. Natural light in abundance is provided by clerestory windows. While uniformity across the shopfronts creates consistency, stepped bulkheads feature side cladding using external roof cladding for interest. Illuminated 3D signs give a contemporary feel.

“Texture is achieved through the use of a combination of cladding and flush plaster on the walls and ceilings. A floating internal roof has been incorporated into the design which appears to hover above the clerestory windows.

Savva says that clay paving has been used consistently throughout the internal and external areas of the complex, which will feature national tenants like Jet, Pep, Ackermans and OK Furniture as well as Shoprite, Cashbuild and a number of smaller trading stores. “The paving is not only non-slip and hard wearing but brings warmth through the earthy colours and interest via the flooring design,” he says.

Katale Square includes a sewerage plant on site and utilizes borehole water exclusively. A community garden is being created on site where vegetables and food will be grown.

The development has necessitated the upgrade of the road and a new taxi rank area. The complex has plenty of space for possible future phases, including pod buildings or drive-throughs. An existing fuel station is being relocated and upgraded.

Construction began in December 2018 and Katale Square is expected to be completed within just six months from commencement of construction – by end-June 2019.

Professional team

Developer:                                                                      McCormick Property Development

Main contractor:                                                            Tundwe Construction (Pty) Limited

Architect:                                                                        MDS Architecture

Quantity surveyor:                                                        Quanticost Quantity Surveyors

Structural & civil engineer:                                          VSI Consulting Engineers

Electrical engineer:                                                        Ingplan Consulting Engineers

Mechanical engineer:                                                   Pretocon Consulting Engineers

Fire consultants:                                                            Pretocon Consulting Engineers

Health and Safety:                                                         Safe T Worx

McCormick Property Development (MPD) is a market leader in the development of rural and township retail in South Africa, having pioneered the development of these areas since 1983.

From humble beginnings as a family-owned property development company striving to address the retail needs of the lower income bracket, MPD has now completed over 61 developments since its inception.

MPD currently owns and manages a portfolio of 28 shopping malls and centres, totalling over         550 000 m2 GLA, all focussed on the mass market.

With a further 350 000 m of retail in its development pipeline, MPD is continually refining its model to cater for the increasingly aspirant nature of the burgeoning middle-class African market.

Working across the full retail spectrum, MPD weaves global trends into our prime retail developments while maintaining a unique flair tailored to each site. With over 30 years of perfecting the art of rural retail, our journey is just beginning.

La Rosa opens at Time Square

The culinary landscape at Sun International’s Time Square in Menlyn Main continues to evolve. Adding a Mexican twist, the diverse mix of eclectic restaurants at the complex is La Rosa. Offering an authentic Mexican experience, La Rosa Time Square is modeled on the award winning La Rosa Mexican Grille and Tequileria at Honeydew Village. Guests can expect the same energetic vibe, surrounded by vibrant colours, beautifully crafted Mexican-inspired murals etched into the walls and a tequileria bar boasting the widest range of 100% Agave Tequila.

The staff is trained by the best. Under the leadership of a top chef straight out of San Diego, USA, they have learned all there is to know about the fine art of Mexican food and flavours. The menu reflects the playful and flavourful character of true Mexican fare, with tacos and burritos bursting with flavour, as well as a wide variety of starters’ tapas-style. La Rosa is an absolute feast – with its taste bud tingling dishes, lively atmosphere, exceptional décor, bright delights and accents of pink and blue, it is just the spot to indulge in some serious Mexican magic. The fiesta is always on.

La Rosa Times Square owners, Costas and James, have been in the hospitality industry for 30 years having managed and owned several successful restaurants. Tony Rose, creator and owner of the La Rosa brand, explains that in 2010 UNESCO listed Mexican as a world-heritage cuisine and is a favourite in South Africa. “Tequila and Mexican food are the perfect ingredients for a great party,” he says.

Time Square is a destination for gastronomical adventure; where innovative concepts combine. There are 18 bars and restaurants to explore, each individual in concept and character to deliver a distinctive experience. Well known culinary personalities have laid roots at Time Square. Amongst them are Fortunato Mazzone (the charismatic South African chef, radio personality and owner of the multiple award winning Ristorante Ritrovo in Pretoria) who owns Forti Grill on the upper level; Joao da Fonseca (the lead singer of South African house band Mi Casa and well known culinary artiste – aka J’Something) whose first restaurant, Something’s Cooking by J’Something is also located on the upper level, and Guy Fieri (American celebrity chef, restaurateur and TV host of Guy’s Big Bite and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) whose one and only South African restaurant is also at Time Square.

Like Time Square South Africa on Facebook www.facebook.com/TimeSquareRSA and follow on Twitter @TimeSquareRSA.

Sun International’s Time Square is Sun International’s new, flagship casino and entertainment complex in the green precinct of Menlyn Maine in Pretoria. The complex comprises South Africa’s most technologically advanced casino and a restaurant hub within the green Menlyn Maine Precinct.

The casino itself is currently the largest in Gauteng, with two floors housing 1 750 slots and 50 tables. Time Square boasts 18 restaurants and bars by an eclectic ensemble of South African and international personalities. Each is individual in concept and character to deliver a distinctive experience.

The state-of-the-art, 8 500 seat Sun Arena was opened in November 2017. The only venue of its kind in Pretoria, the arena plays host to international and local concerts, exhibitions and lifestyle events. This was followed by the opening of The Maslow Time Square hotel in March 2018. A first for South Africa, the 238-room specialist business hotel, offers multi-level accommodation options – from standard to premium – all under one roof. The 17-storey hotel is packed with state-of-the-art facilities and technology.








Online banking fraud keeps Banking Ombudsman on its toes

The Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) released its Annual Report highlighting some interesting statistics for its operations for 2018. Key highlights for the year are:

  • 7 307 cases were closed ̶  12% more than in 2017 and an increase of 40% over the last two years
  • ATM fraud complaints dropped by 4% from 18% to 14%
  • The debt stress-related complaints almost doubled from 3,4% to 6,5%
  • The call centre fielded 26 970 calls, an increase of 18% year-on-year and 58% more than the past two years

“Despite the fact that we were busier than ever, we managed to maintain excellent turnaround times, with an average of 41 business days to close a case, and the service standard to resolve complaints within four months was achieved in 95,3% of the cases,” said Reana Steyn, OBS.

Customer complaints about significant issues in the area of internet banking fraud and ATM and credit card-related complaints kept the office busy.

The office opened 1 459 and closed 1 349 internet banking fraud cases for the year. The number for on-line banking related complaints closed by the office in 2018 is slightly less than the previous year; however, it is still the top category of complaints opened and closed for the second year running, making up 22% of all cases opened.

The second category was ATM-related complaints at 14%, a decrease of 4% from 2017. “This is encouraging and may indicate that customers are more aware and careful transacting at ATMs, or that the fraudsters are targeting other avenues,” Steyn said.

“Internet banking, ATM and credit card fraud account for 48% of the complaints in the office. Customers fall victim to various scams and fraudulent activities that target unsuspecting individuals. The fraudsters and hackers seem to be working around the clock to create fake copies of bank websites and impersonate the bank staff.

Out of the 7 115 cases opened, 2 659 (37%) were related to maladministration. This is the description used by the office in instances where, for example, the bank did not follow its own internal procedures which caused a loss, distress or inconvenience for the customer. Another example of maladministration is where a bank fails to conduct an affordability assessment when granting credit as required by the National Credit Act.

The demographic view shows that the bulk of the complaints are from Gauteng at 42%, Western Cape, 15%, and Kwa–Zulu Natal 13%.

“The more significant statistic is that 70% of the complainants are from people over the age of 40. We believe the older generation may be more prone to falling victim to bank fraud and we are targeting our awareness campaigns and consumer education to address this issue.” Steyn said it was also feasible that older customers were more aware of their rights and therefore more likely to complain.

The OBS offers a free alternative dispute resolution service to ensure all bank customers who have complaints that are not satisfactorily resolved at the bank, can exercise their rights and have access to redress.

How to complain

  • Lodge a formal, written complaint directly with your bank’s dispute resolution department
  • Ask for a complaint reference number from your bank
  • Allow the bank 20 working days in which to respond to your complaint
  • Obtain a written response from your bank, OR
  • Consumers can contact the office of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for free assistance if they experience any banking problems or would like us to assist in lodging a complaint against their bank.



Amazon crowned 2019’s BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand

  • “Eco-system” brands win over consumers as many traditional brand categories crumble
  • Consumer technology brands pass the $1 trillion brand value mark
  • Demand grows for “mindful marketing” practices as the consumer voice strengthens in a more ethically-driven world

With little sign of a slowdown in growth, Amazon has become the world’s most valuable brand, according to the 2019 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking released by WPP and Kantar at the New York Stock Exchange.

Amazon’s smart acquisitions, that have led to new revenue streams, excellent customer service provision and its ability to stay ahead of its competitors by offering a diverse eco-system of products and services, have allowed Amazon to continuously accelerate its brand value growth.   Technology companies have led BrandZ’s Top 100 ever since its first global brand value ranking in 2006, when Microsoft took the top spot. Rising in brand value by an impressive 52% year-on-year to $315,5 billion, Amazon moves ahead of Apple (no 2, $309,5 billion) and Google (no 3, $309,0 billion) which both rose by a modest +3% and +2% respectively, to end the technology giants’ 12-year dominance.

In the Top 10, Facebook remained at no 6 while, for the first time, Alibaba overtook Tencent and became the most valuable Chinese brand, moving up two places to no 7 and growing +16% to $131,2 billion. Tencent dropped three places to no 8, declining by 27% to $130,9 billion year-on-year, in what BrandZ ascribes to a more volatile world; one in which brands must continually anticipate evolving consumer needs and expectations.

As other social media platforms face challenges in terms of trust and desirability, Instagram (no 44, $28,2 billion), now with over 1 billion users worldwide, emerged as this year’s fastest riser climbing 47 places with a massive +95% growth in brand value. Lululemon, the yoga-inspired, athletic apparel company was the second fastest riser, stretching to +77% growth year-on-year to $6,92 billion.

Other top risers, such as Netflix (+65%, no 34, $34,3 billion), Amazon (+52%, $315,5 billion) and Uber (+51%, no 53, $24,2 billion) reflect the rapidly changing, technology-driven world in which consumers are placing more value on richer brand experiences.

David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and Chairman of BrandZ, says: “The growth in value of this year’s top 100 brands to an all-time high proves the power of investing in brands to deliver superior shareholder value. Behind this headline growth figure lies the success coming from a new phenomenon of ecosystem brand building. We’re seeing a move from individual product and service brands to a new era of highly-disruptive ecosystems. Brands need to understand the value this type of model can create and should embrace its approach to be successful in the future.”


The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2019

Rank 2019 Brand Category Brand value 2019 ($BN) Brand value change Rank 2018
1 Amazon Retail 315,505 52% 3
2 Apple Technology 309,527 3% 2
3 Google Technology 309,000 2% 1
4 Microsoft Technology 251,244 25% 4
5 Visa Payments 177,918 22% 7
6 Facebook Technology 158,968 -2% 6
7 Alibaba Retail 131,246 16% 9
8 Tencent Technology 130,862 -27% 5
9 McDonald’s Fast Food 130,368 3% 8
10 AT&T Telecom providers 108,375 2% 10

 Despite the economic uncertainty surrounding the US and China trade tariffs, almost a third of a trillion dollars ($328 billion) of value was added to the BrandZ Top 100 Global ranking over the last year, giving it a combined brand value of $4,7 trillion – roughly the combined GDP of Spain, Korea and Russia.

Much of this value is derived from consumer technology brands appearing in the ranking which combined are now worth in excess of $1 trillion. Examples include newcomers Xiaomi (no 74, $19,8 billion), a Chinese mobile handset brand that also uses the internet of things (IoT) to connect smart devices and is experiencing rapidly growing demand in countries such as Russia, India and Malaysia. Another Chinese brand, Meituan (no 78, $18,8 billion) is seen as a category-disrupting consumer technology platform offering everything from food delivery, room bookings and ride-hailing to bike rentals. Meanwhile, Uber is leveraging the ecosystem model and expanding into food and other delivery services, while Haier (no 89, $16,3 billion), the world’s largest home appliances and IoT platform is committed to co-creating an open ecosystem brand in the IoT era with its customers and partners.

Key trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ Global Top 100 study include:

  • Luxury is the fastest growing category (+29%) followed by Retail (+25%), fuelled by the shifting preferences to digital channels from GenY and GenZ consumers.
  • Technology, finance and retail categories dominate, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total value of brands.
  • Nine newcomers appear in the Top 100, predominantly driven by Chinese and US technology brands with disruptive business models including Dell Technologies, Xbox, Haier, Meituan and Xiaomi.
  • Asian brands increase their presence with 15 Chinese, three Indian and one Indonesian brand making the ranking among a total of 23 from the region, including LIC and Tata Consultancy Services.
  • A new generation of brands emerge – GenZ brands (created after 1996) are miles ahead in growth rate as they add more value to the ranking per year of existence – almost four times more than brands created in the millennial era of 1977 to 1995. A total of 23 GenZ brands appear in the Top 100 with an average age of 16 years compared to 18 millennial brands averaging 33 years.
  • Sustainable brands – Brand owners are demonstrating the importance of improving and reinforcing consumer perceptions that they are “responsible” through social, environmental and corporate initiatives.
  • China and US trade wars affected the growth of the Top 100 ranking, which slowed to +7% over the last 12 months. Consumer confidence was hit as the trade tariffs impacted several brand categories with cars, logistics and banks suffering most.

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report and rankings, and a great deal more brand insight for key regions of the world and 14 market sectors are available online here. The Global report, rankings, charts, articles and more can also be found via the BrandZ app. The BrandZ app also contains the same features and functionality for all BrandZ regional reports and is free to download for Apple IOS and all Android devices from www.brandz.com/mobile or search for BrandZ in the respective iTunes or Google Play app stores.


Five tips for savvy shopping in a tough economy

With the increasing cost of living in South Africa, citizens find themselves clutching at their pockets trying to find new ways to cut down and save costs at every corner. Saving is no longer an option, but rather a necessity.

“Coupled with budgeting, is the importance of becoming a savvy shopper”, says Bakuena Ntshasa, CEO of Brandbook; a rewards and points app for the South African consumer. He defines savvy shopping as an important consideration for consumers to invest time and effort in seeking and utilising promotion-related information to achieve price savings.

Brandbook gives the following helpful shopping tips to help consumers save money:

  1. Keep an eye on the sales – certain products are cheaper at certain times of the year. Follow your favourite shops’ sales cycles and use this to your advantage and build a shopping calendar. Looking for a new TV? Keep in mind annual sale days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are specifically great for hardware shopping and stocking up on cleaning products and nappies.
  2. Planning your shopping list – planning meals and consumables for the month, before rushing the monthly grocery shopping, will help buyers to reconcile their plan vs their actual spending and prevent them from going above budget. Going through your home and identifying items that must be replenished, can wait and should wait is the first step. Start by only purchasing items in the “must replenish or necessity” list. It is probably also a good idea to eat something before walking through the aisles; your hunger levels can contribute to buying additional snacks that may you not have planned for.
  3. Be selective about your brand purchases – opting for the cheapest brand is not always necessarily wise. However, if you are looking to reduce your monthly spend, consider other alternatives that provide better bang for your buck. Carefully comparing prices vs quantity is key to making an actual saving.
  4. Follow shopping bloggers – shopping bloggers provide great insights and up-to-date tips for scoring deals and shopping wisely. From budget and shopping templates to last minute sales, it is worth keeping your eyes open to shop with a cost-effective mindset.
  5. Keep your receipts and download Brandbook – Instead of your purchase receipts gathering dust inside your wallet or car, you can now upload them onto a new rewards app that has no limitations or bias to specific retailers or stores. By downloading Brandbook and uploading your receipts, consumers can accumulate points that are redeemable for gift cards at retailers such as Takealot, Uber, KFC and Mr Price, to name a few. A great way for users to reward themselves for shopping.

With Mzansi’s consumer marketing becoming truly concerned with “the price of eggs”, the time to adopt a savings mindset is now. When shopping and expenses are planned correctly and consistently, consumers will enjoy seeing the reward in their bank balances, which will in turn help them to plan for their future and desired luxuries responsibly.