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TFG launches TFGLabs to support omnichannel offering
Leading SA fashion retailer The Foschini Group (TFG) recently announced the launch of TFGLabs as part of its strategy to become Africa’s leading omnichannel retailer.
The strategy was outlined at the company’s 2021 financial year-end presentation.
“We are laying the foundations to become the largest, most reliable and most profitable e-commerce destination on the continent; via a simplified, customer-centric approach, aimed at maximising group scale, minimising duplication and cost, and leveraging our incredible assets,” shared newly appointed Co-Chief Omni Officer Claude Hanan.
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“A few things separate us from pureplay and bricks competitors – our catalogue of in-house and third-party brands, local manufacturing with quick response capability, our vast store network putting us closer to customers and a credit and value-added services capability with strong customer retention rates. We have built customer relationships that span decades via the work of our talented store teams who provide a world-class shopping experience. We won’t lose this – the future of retail is omni,” says Hanan.
The ‘omni’ Hanan refers to is omnichannel commerce, a seamless, user-friendly and completely connected customer experience that gives the consumer control of every point in the purchasing chain.
TFGLabs – leading with technology through a customer lens
To deliver this ‘world-class shopping experience’, TFG is taking a two-pronged approach – expertise and technical capability. The expertise branch of the outline includes a new customer capability function and the appointment of a new Chief Customer Officer, ensuring the customer remains front and centre.
As part of the presentation, TFG announced the launch of the new digital talent arm of their organisation. TFGLabs is currently attracting the continent’s best tech talent to develop software and solutions that will delight customers and redefine the omnichannel offering’s capabilities. TFG hopes that the programme will achieve growth opportunities and produce strong talent to take up the new positions resulting from this growth.
Fulfilment excellence – owning the last mile
“We started viewing our stores as mini-DCs over a year ago, via our One-stock initiative – enabled by RFID – making every stock unit “visible” to customers, regardless of its location. Many stores are within proximity of our loyal customers, allowing us to drive down delivery times and costs,” explains Hanan.
Globally, consumers demand convenient technology that allows them to buy what they want, how, when and where they want it. The omnichannel offering, implemented strategically over the past few years, has positioned the organisation to offer customers an “always-on one-stop-shop”, he explains.
Owning the last-mile experience (a click and collect function) will allow TFG to improve customer experience and enhance brand loyalty efficiently and cost-effectively. Providing the customer with better product selection drives sales growth, higher conversion rates and increased basket sizes. As the consumer begins to trust the platform, the frequency of visits and spend per customer increases.
“For over a century, TFG has strategically grown an impressive industry-leading portfolio of SA’s most loved brands in retail. The opportunity now exists to unleash this considerable brand portfolio online, taking advantage of the many omnichannel opportunities, and further enhance its brand loyalty,” says Hanan. ”The revolution of TFG’s omnichannel platform offers SA consumers the brands, unrivalled selection of quality products, and the freedom to shop seamlessly across a myriad of locations. The simplicity of shopping when they want and how they want to will create an incredible strategic advantage for TFG.”
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Featured image: Claude Hanan, Co-Chief Omni Officer, The Foschini Group (Supplied)