Shopping centre developers and landlords, as well as tenants, have to make radical changes in how they store and present their merchandise or they will lose their lunch to a wave of innovators, says Howard Saunders, a retail trend expert. Saunders, who spoke at the South African Council of Shopping Centres’ annual convention in Cape Town earlier in September, has worked in retail design for more than 25 years and is a former creative director of design group FITCH, based in London. He has also done work for Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Westfield. Saunders says many global brands are creating concept stores to entice customers and increase their dwell times in branches. This is while SA’s retailers and malls have come under pressure from subdued consumer spending in a slow-growth economy. "Technology is advancing at an incredible pace. We are experiencing unprecedented leaps in communication tools. In fact the mobile phone is the most significant invention for humanity since the whe...

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