loot.co.za chief executive , Gary Hadfield.

CAPE TOWN - Online retailer loot.co.za, is anticipating sales growth of up to 100 percent this year in the upcoming Black Friday weekend, after achieving growth of over 150 percent last year.

Loot chief executive Gary Hadfield said loot will be launching its biggest selection of Black Friday deals and offering up to 80% off on a selection of products across their 17 departments.

"We have done significant product buy-ins to ensure that the majority of sale items will be in stock at our regional warehouses. Our Black Friday sale will start just after midnight on the 24th and continue until midnight on the 27th."

Hadfield said they would be adding additional deals every day in this period.

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He said the retailer achieved year-on-year revenue growth of 165 percent last year and this year is anticipating sales growth of 70 percent to 100 percent.

"The October to December festive season is a very important period for us and is defined by successful Black Friday trading. In preparation for Black Friday we ensured our new Cape Town Airport Industria warehouse was operational by October 2017. This has dramatically increased our storage capacity and ability to handle increased volumes."

Hadfield said this is in conjunction with the retailer's Midrand warehouse which was opened at the end of last year and is operating very efficiently. 

He said both warehouses are strategically located within a few kilometers of loot's courier partner Fedex key regional hubs. Hadfield added that the retailer has added more payment methods since last year's Black Friday and now offers their shoppers 13 convenient options.

"In 2016 Black Friday saw a significant increase in sales across online and offline retailers which caused certain payment options to crash. These 13 options are not only convenient but should also mitigate some of that risk. The more recent options include RCS and Mobicred which allows products to be bought on credit."

Also read: TIPS: How and where to shop on Black Friday

He said the most innovative is SCode, a cash-payment option solution allowing loot.co.za shoppers to check out and pay offline for their orders with cash and credit/debit cards at outlets like Shoprite and Checkers' money kiosks as well as post offices.

"When the shopper clicks to pay with SCode, the shopper receives an SMS with a 16 digit code that is presented at these kiosks for payment. Once they have made payment, loot receives a real time notification that automatically triggers the order and subsequent delivery. We see this as a key contributor to making South African online retail more inclusive and ensuring LSM 5-7 is able to take full advantage of an event like Black Friday."

Hadfield said that worldwide retail ecommerce sales will reach $2 290 trillion this year, making up 10.1 percent of total retail sales and this is set to surpass 16 percent by 2021, when sales doubles to $4.479 trillion.

He said in South Africa total retail is worth about R1 trillion and online constitutes between 1- 2 percent.

"We see extensive opportunity for the loot business continue delivering hyper growth and capture a significant share of what could be a potential 5-7 percent online retail market in the next three to five years. Globally other events like amazon Prime Day Singles Day and the Big Billion event in India are becoming a key catalyst in making online shopping more interesting and ultimately getting more shoppers online. This year Singles Day became more of a global event for Alibaba but in China it had to contend with JD.com (Tencent is its largest shareholder and owns 20 percent with Walmart coming in second having a 10 percent stake) generating $19 billion albeit over an 11 day period which was a significant chunk of Alibaba's $25 billion."

The graph below demonstrates the increased penetration by country*. In South Africa we are also ticking a lot more boxes that are conducive to online retail becoming a more significant percentage of total retail sales.


- BUSINESS REPORT