The Foschini Group to take on Amazon with bold new e-commerce plan

The Foschini Group [JSE:TFG] last week launched its latest offering, the myTFGworld online shopping destination, a move the company says will set the stage for dominance in the online retail space.

The company said its e-commerce goal was to have all its SA brands trading online by 2020. With 17 brands trading online, and only the jewellery brands still to move into the e-commerce space, it considers its efforts a success. 

According to a statement by TFG, the new online space - which offers a single URL - is set to include all 17 group brands, as well as affiliate brands. These include book store Readers’ Warehouse, French gift chain Pylones, toy store Hamley’s, and flower and gifting service Bloomable.

"We have 17 TFG brands trading online, and in order to provide greater convenience to our clients, it made sense to also offer a site which brings them all together and supplement gaps," TFG CIO and board director Brent Curry told Fin24.

"Our online platform has been extremely successful, with many online stores consistently outperforming the top offline stores," Curry said.

According to the retailer, its @home, hi and Totalsports online stores all count among their top three traders in the country, compared to its brick-and-mortar stores, with basket sizes online continuing to roughly double that of in-store purchases.

"Online sales amount to around 6% of TFG’s total local and international sales, and we expect this figure to grow as we introduce new online brands," said Curry.

Taking on Amazon

With its target market being skewed towards women, who make up 65% of its online shoppers, the retailer says its aim is to create a convenient shopping experience for consumers by providing a more modern, experiential interface that is user-friendly and easy to use.

The company aims to create an inspirational and story-led customer experience. "When a customer visits a site, they will be prompted by a series of stories which focus on a particular idea, trend, theme or category."

The myTFGworld online destination is part of the company’s plan to take on global marketplaces, such as

"myTFGworld is South Africa’s first online marketplace, supported by 2 652 brick stores. The vision for myTFGworld is to be a very large player in the online space, so when you think online shopping you think myTFGworld.

"We want to ensure that TFG is ready for Amazon’s entry into the market," said Curry.

By 2020, the company hopes to include brands that will cover diverse categories including food, meals, education, décor, pets, babies, data, ticketing, streaming and drones.

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