Woolies’ Eco-Chic innovates

Former Miss Teen SA Celeste Khumalo was at the Mall of Africa launch. Picture: Lucky Nxumalo
Former Miss Teen SA Celeste Khumalo was at the Mall of Africa launch. Picture: Lucky Nxumalo

Woolworths launched its newest Eco-Chic shop at the grand opening of Mall of Africa in Midrand on Thursday.

For those who don’t know, it’s the mall that caused a massive gridlock when it opened, and that’s why it’s nicknamed the Crawl of Africa.

The launch, attended by an exclusive mix of celebrities and media, offered some insight into Woolies’ stylish approach to sustainability and innovation, which also redefines the shopping experience.

The keynote speaker was fashion guru and analyst Dion Chang, founder of Flux Trends. He gave us more details about what to expect regarding sustainability and the retail trends that innovate and are kinder to the planet.

For food fundis, chef Ash Heeger, from a new restaurant in Cape Town called Ash, was tasked with creating a menu to highlight sustainable cooking that leads to less waste. Just so you know, the food store has a chocolate hub, fish market, butchery and in-house roastery for coffee connoisseurs.

Customers also get a dedicated footwear department and more than 6 000 square metres for clothes.

For the opening, Woolworths collaborated with some of South Africa’s top stylists.

They included Palesa Mahlaba, Sharon Becker and Papama Ramogase. These experts helped shoppers put together trendy and elegant winter looks while customers browsed through clothing on the rails. City Press wishes more chain stores could learn from this. We’d happily shop anywhere that has a stylist on hand to ensure our butts do not look too big in the clothes we buy.

FoxBox express manicures and EyeCandy eyebrow threading offered a convenient stop within the new beauty department that overlooks a large atrium.

The services enable shoppers to have their nails done and their eyebrows seen to as they benefit from make-up tips while getting their faces perfected. Again, this is a hot idea we wish others would implement.

Woolies collaborated with three young local designers – Pichulik, AKJP and Rich Mnisi – to produce a trio of handmade totes.

The once-off initiative was called Totes for Good and each bag was sold for charity at the opening via Twitter.

The chain also gave the first 100 WReward cardholders in the queue a R1 000 gift voucher each.

And to top off the night, Woolworths handed out R2 000 gift vouchers to all the invited celebrities and media personnel.

I spotted some famous faces while browsing the rails.

Model Maps Maponyane, TV personality Minnie Dlamini, founder of fashion label Stoned Cherrie Nkhensani Nkosi, and presenter and actress Pearl Thusi were there to lend glamour to the event.

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