Friday, June 12, 2015

Connecting Africa with the world

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The Source Africa trade show, held 10-11 June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, showed off Africa capabilities as a sourcing destination.

The event featured more than 200 textile, apparel and footwear exhibitors from South Africa, Mauritius, Lesotho, Swaziland, etc. This year’s show attracted approximately 1 500 visitors.

Source Africa featured more than 200 exhibitors 10-11 June.
The show also featured three business seminars on topics Tools for Developing International Business, AGOA Renewal - The Next 10 Years and Regional Supply Chains. 

Jordan & Co.’s Jody Henry managed their stand on day one.
Well-known South African suppliers showed their products and services in the exhibition area.

Bolton Footwear divisions Jordan & Co., Barker and Watson Shoes showed off each brand's new range introductions and promoted brand awareness. All three divisions were located in the same area, with Jordan & Co. on their own stand for the first time this year as they needed more space for their extensive ranges, said Jody Henry of Jordan & Co., who was manning the stand.

Gary Gilder on the Barker stand, which showed off their new Crockett & Jones range.
Barker was exhibiting their new Crocket & Jones range, which is aimed at attracting the younger market. The brand, previously associated with older men, now has new styles that use fashionable lasts and more modern toe shapes. The aim for the show was create brand awareness and revitalise interest in the brand, said Gary Gilder.

The Watson Shoes stand attracted quite a bit of traffic.
The Watson Shoes stand was all about their Grasshopper brand. It showed their wide variety of styles (both old and new) and that they are about much more than just the well-known Grasshopper moccasin style.

Gelvenor Textiles’ Sefton Fripp answered any questions visitors had about the brand.
Gelvenor Textiles’ stand featured various materials they manufacture and showed off the diversity in their range. Their fabrics’ uses are endless and can be used to create clothing for use in hazardous work, outdoor, aeronautical, etc. environments.

 Louise Pelser was hard at work at the SAFLEC stand.

AMSA shared their stand with the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster.
The Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa shared a stand with the Cape Clothing & Textile Cluster to provide information on what they can do to assist local manufacturers. The Executive Director Johann Baard also featured on one of the panel discussions that took place at the business seminars, which formed part of the event.

Other local businesses such as Tradelink Textile Industries were also among the exhibitors looking to reach the wider African market. 

Tradelink Textile Industries’ cotton products are all produced in George and are assembled in Lesotho, says Veronique McClenaghan of Tradelink Industries.

 Tradelink Textile Industries had convenient seating where visitors could network with their reps.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Industry welcomes Springbok World Cup kit

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With Johnny Clegg personally performing the Springbok signature “Impi” song, the new Springbok kit that will be worn during the 2015 IRB World Cup was introduced to media and retail representatives with aplomb.
“We are unveiling one of the most critical pieces of equipment on the Road to Twickenham,” said SARU vice-president James Stoffberg (below) of the new ASICS Springbok jersey. “This is not just another jersey,” he added. “This was meticulously designed by ASICS for each player.”
While they custom-designed the players’ kit at their Institute for Sport Science (ISS) in Kobe, Japan, ASICS will be manufacturing all the replica jerseys in South Africa, where they found an excellent partner in a KwaZulu Natal factory, said ASICS Europe CEO Alistair Cameron. “That is our investment in local manufacturing.”
He also announced that ASICS SA will be opening offices in Johannesburg and Durban.

“ASICS believes in Kaizen, which means continuous improvement,” Cameron continued. As implied by the title of the 6-part video series on the developing of the jersey, “Success is no accident” hundreds of hours of testing went into the design of the jerseys.
Eight ‘Boks (Jean de Villiers, Tendai Mtawarira, Eben Etzebeth, Bismarck du Plessis, Duane Vermeulen, Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks and Pat Lambie) spent three days at the ISS where they were measured, tested and put through their paces in order to ensure that player-specific features are incorporated to give them on-field benefits (see here).

The result is a lightweight (70g lighter than before), high tear resistant jersey made with smooth material that can easily escape the grasp of an opponent, explained James Noorvic, ASICS Global Product Manager.
Springboks Eben Etzebeth, Jean de Villiers and Beast Tenderai helped him demonstrate other innovative features, like the placement of silicone grip to optimize breathability, a gusset in the shorts to improve comfort and socks with compression features and a footbed that allows more grip on the shoe. The Boks also told the audience how much they appreciated the care ASICS took to make the jerseys special.
Retailers from across the country were invited to attend the launch of the jersey, which went on sale the next day.
Jax Snyman, owner of the Sweat Shop, came from Johannesburg. With him is Grant Bryant, manager of the Sweat Shop in Cape Town.
Reinhard Barnard and Malan Olwagen from Model Sport drove all the way from Worcester.
Riaan Oosthuizen of Sportsmans Warehouse with Stefan Heinrich, ASICS’ Head of Emerging Markets, who came from Europe to attend the launch.
ASICS staff members from abroad and Cape Town were on hand to answer retailers’ questions.
ASICS SA MD, Brian Kerby, in conversation with marketing manager Sarah Mundy.
James Noorvic, ASICS Global Product Manager, who came from the UK, shares a joke with ASICS SA Apparel Product Manager Barbara Cole.
ASICS SA agent Gunner Way enjoying the launch party. 

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Brands enjoyed the Comrades Expo

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Running brands mixed business and fun during the Comrades Marathon’s Expo held at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 28-30 May leading up to the main event. In the true Comrades spirit, representatives from the different brands competed against each other during the event, and partied together afterwards.

This year’s Comrades Marathon made history by having two South African winners for the first time since 1992.  Major running brands and retailers were among the 110 exhibitors showcasing their new running shoes and gear to the estimated 50 000 visitors. 
The 2015 edition of the Comrades Expo attracted many runners.

 New Balance - official technical sponsor of the marathon - created excitement with their Comrades 890v5 running shoe and a selection of replica training gear they developed with the Comrades Association to celebrate the 90th edition of the marathon.
Two ladies in New Balance gear.
Designed for both men and women, the Comrades running gear feature innovative materials and technologies that help a runner keep cool, safe and dry. The Comrade 890v5 shoe, with an 8mm drop, features a blown rubber outsole, absorb crash pad and no-sew material.
New Balance shoes on display.

Mizuno also made their presence felt at the Expo. “There was great energy at the Comrades this year with a new floor layout and a new race director driving passion for comrades back into the heart of the runners,” says brand manager Paul Copson from local distributor Brand ID. 
Paul Copson and Thando Siyendo of Brand ID and Kevin Lodge from Top Events.
“All brands shared laughter and got to let their hair down at the post-Comrades Expo cocktail party,” adds Copson. “There was fantastic inter-brand friendship and camaraderie shared on the evening.”
Representatives of different brands enjoyed the post-Comrades party.

Copson this year had the “honour” of wishing Jax Snyman of the Sweat Shop “happy birthday” during the post-Comrades party – a practical joke that has become an annual institution.
Paul Copson wishing Jax Snyman fo The Sweat Sweat Shop a happy birthday.

Asics showcased their shoes in all the running categories - ranging from training, natural, fast, long or trail running - as they focused on the mix up your run philosophy. The brand also had a free Foot ID service available, where runners were given information on their foot shape, size, foot types and what running shoes would best suit them.
Asics had freelance students as their technical representatives. 
One of the reps assists a runner with the Asics Foot ID free service.

Adidas focused on their Ultraboost running shoe at their stand during the Expo. Runners flocked in to see and experience the shoe first hand.  
Runners flocked at the adidas stand to check their Ultraboost shoe.

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