Although no one in the industry appears willing to say so, the retail sector is in trouble. A cursory glance reveals an industry having to discount, close stores or overhaul strategy to keep afloat. Woolworths has been running its 50%-off sales for about three months; and just recently Pick n Pay announced that it will spend R500-million to cut the prices of 1,500 products in its stores. A heavy discounting environment may be good news for consumers, but it is wreaking havoc on the bottom lines of retailers. Maryla Masojada, MD of Trade Intelligence, said: "It is a major issue that no one is talking about; nobody is acknowledging it. "The current state of retail is like the frog in the pot. But it's got so tough that it's forcing behaviour change. Although it's been really tough over the past two years, it hasn't been tough enough to make people jump out the pot. "Now, suddenly the heat has been turned up and people are jumping, which means it's a great time for innovative responses...

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