The first sign that an economy is about to be hit by hard times is when consumer spend tapers off. And in this environment it is retailers that are among the hardest hit. SA has had more than its fair share of tough times this year with the country slipping into a recession, the World Bank halving its economic growth forecast to 0.6% from an earlier estimate of 1.1%, and grim job prospects. Both consumer and business spend is more cautious during recessions and slowing economies, which in turn affects communication in an already price-sensitive market, says Ornico marketing manager Mongezi Mtati. “Pick n Pay recently announced it will join those retailers, such as Woolworths and Massmart, which offer in-store credit,” he says. “This move is likely to lead to the price-sensitive retail sector amending its communication and customer interaction to include in-store credit.” Recent retail TV advertising, says Mtati, shows a slight shift from the traditionally price-sensitive model of co...

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