Footwear proves good e-sales fit for TFG

Shoes, electronics and homeware gifts are among The Foschini Group’s (TFG’s) top e-commerce sellers.

The retailer, which owns brands such as @Home, Totalsports and Duesouth, launched “omni-channel retailing” last year to encourage customers to make purchases whether they are in a store or using a tablet, phone or computer.

In a retail market worth more than R600bn, South African online transactions account for less than 2% of total sales, but a growing number of consumers are turning to the internet to browse and shop.

“We have a break-even of two and a half years on the R100m, five-year investment … We did say last year that online would be a 5% sales contribution by 2018 – that’s turned out to be conservative because in divisions like @Home and Hi Online, we’re already seeing 2.5% after just a year,” TFG chief information officer, Brent Curry, said yesterday.

The omni-channel project uses US software provider Oracle’s ATG technology, which is also used by Mr Price and Woolworths.

“Footwear and electronics tend to be easy online purchases because people trust and know the brand and they don’t really have to touch and feel the product, Curry said.

“Gifting, because it can be placed online and delivered the next day, is excelling as a category.”

Since November last year, TFG has launched seven online stores – @Home, Hi Online, Duesouth, Totalsports, Sportscene and Anatomy – and plans to have online selling platforms for all its 18 retail brands by 2018.

Over the next year, it will launch six more online stores for brands including Fabiani and Markham – with 40% of customers making purchases using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Source: Business Day