Who Owns Whom

Gareth Anderson, a 24-year-old school friend of one of my sons, studied brand building and management at Vega and started a business in 2018. He describes his frozen fish home delivery business, called Caught Online, as an e-tailing fishmonger. Since lockdown his daily order book matches his previous monthly totals and Gareth is confident the business will continue to grow after lockdown as shopping habits change.

This trend is confirmed by the food retail and wholesale which showed that Pick n Pay’s online shopping service served over two million customers in 2019, a growth of 24% on the previous year, and Woolworths achieved online sales growth of 22.3%. Home deliveries have since soared further as South Africa went into lockdown. This trend may eventually deepen many of the structural challenges facing the industry.

Caught Online currently employs seven people in Cape Town and has plans to expand to Johannesburg and Durban. My son completed his business science degree at UCT and his CFA1 last year, but his efforts to find employment in the asset management industry ground to a halt, and he has been employed as Gareth’s despatch manager, taking the head count to eight.

The cargo handling report  states that only companies in the logistics supply line that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open, but a possible spike in the sector will come after lockdown as retailers replenish stocks.

The tourism and leisure sectors have been among the worst hit by the lockdown and the health and beauty spa report states that as the industry comes into direct close contact with the public, it is experiencing significant losses which may persist after the virus is contained as customers may continue to exercise social distancing.

In a similar boat is the events management sector. Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief convention bureau officer of the South African National Conventions Bureau, said South Africa hosts approximately 211,000 regional, national and international meetings, conferences and exhibitions annually and that this number is reasonably stable year-on-year. Until now.

The paper and packing sector is less affected as its products are used to package essential goods and a number of its own products are essential and have been hoarded, such as toilet paper. This sector can look forward to the long term trend created by the anti-plastic lobby, which is rapidly gaining momentum, with rising demand for paper bags, paper beverage cartons, straws and paper-based packaging.

The national gambling report last published in December 2019 has been re-published this month with an update of the effect of the covid19 virus on the industry.

We are about to introduce a free upgrade to WOWEB, with a Woweb4me dashboard to enable users to create a customised dashboard to have selected data ‘pushed’ at them. I will provide detail on that with my next communication.

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