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Immersing the shopping centre industry in valuable retail skills

The South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) has introduced a groundbreaking new education programme designed to provide centre-management teams with a better overall understanding of the retail environment.

Forming part of the SACSC’s tailored education offering, the Retail Immersion Programme puts shopping-centre teams on the same page as their retail counterparts.

It has received positive feedback since the start of the pilot programme in March, with its content benefitting each participant’s own unique working situation.

Concluding in December 2016, the pilot course has been provided free of charge to one hundred SACSC members in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, with additional registrations made available at a subsidised cost.

“The main objective of this programme is to assist in developing business acumen within the centre-management team and instill team members with a retail focused mentality. We give them the right tools to navigate the entire retail landscape with ease,” says Amanda Stops, CEO of SACSC.

Open to anyone involved in the shopping-centre industry who would like to have a better understanding of the retailing business, the course’s unique approach to skills development has proved particularly beneficial to centre managers, operations managers, leasing consultants and marketing managers.

The 10-month course also features guest lectures by carefully selected, well-known retail experts, and is presented on behalf of SACSC by Sash Padayachee of Taleo Consulting.

Padayachee, armed with over 29 years of experience in the fashion retail industry, has conducted training within the retail sector in seven countries and has worked in South Africa, Botswana and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He is responsible for the design and establishment of retail academies in the Middle East intended to promote job creation while focusing specifically on women empowerment. In his career he has gained a wealth of experience in various retail posts from the sales floor up, including head of the Edcon Retail Academy and general manager for learning and development in the Landmark Group.

“Padayachee has proved that he is as passionate about skills development as we are. Together, we have created a course that is inspiring and insightful, and we believe that the lucky participants included in the programme are going to walk away with a very different perspective of the industry they work in, and new ideas about how to best improve the shopping centres they work for,” says Stops. “With our new Retail Immersion Programme the SACSC wanted to go above and beyond the usual training exercise, providing a modern and innovative platform of excellent relevance to the industry right now.”

SACSC is the official umbrella body of all involved shopping centres, including owners, developers, managing agents, brokers, professionals, retailers, marketers, service providers, financers and researchers. It was officially launched in 1991 to advance the retail and retail property sectors of South Africa. SACSC promotes the interests of the sector both in South Africa and internationally, while addressing issues and meeting challenges within the industry. It engages with associated sectors and other stakeholders on behalf of its members and highlights the role of shopping centres as a major resource for all communities in South Africa.

“It is imperative for an organisation like the SACSC to keep up-to-date with current developments in the retail industry, providing as many meaningful opportunities as possible to share this information with our members in new and exciting ways,” says Stops.

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