We are stationery addicts and proud of it!
This is why shop-sa has decided to launch our own version of Stationery Week on social media next week! We will focus on trends and craft, innovation and old favourites – and you have an opportunity to help boost this campaign by buying a banner ad (Facebook images are 940 x 788 pixels) for R1 000 ex VAT for any one posting (you can book for all the days) between 16 and 22 May 2022.
Our Facebook page will run articles about the different products as per the list below:
16 May: Make-a-note day
17 May: Pen and pencil day
19 May: World Stationery Day
20 May: Fountain pen Friday
21 May: Stationery shop Saturday
22 May: Send a letter Sunday
Get your brand(s) out there during Stationery Week and let’s get people excited about writing, doodling and drawing!
To take part, please contact Wendy directly on (012) 548 0046, 082 963 7441 or email@example.com.
First the big news: as explained in our newsflash last week, the board, together with IT-Online, has decided to reintegrate My Office into shop-sa as of 1 May. To inject new ideas and focus, we have contracted Mrs. Hanlie Delport as COO. We are sure that with your support the association will continue to prosper.
The result of the 21/22 back-to-school survey will be released shortly, providing you, our members, with useful insights following the move back to the classroom.
April, with its many public holidays, caused serious disruptions for business. Add to this the fuel price hikes, the continuing war between Russia and the Ukraine, and the recent flooding in KZN and you have a recipe for negative numbers.
However, with the COVID-19 infections still at manageable levels, we have seen some return to “what was” before the pandemic – and we have several members participating in a consumer show early next month. The Hobby-X Expo is back at Kyalami, and we wish all our participating members a very good show! We will also be focussing on crafts and hobbies in May in our communication, and invite members to share news about products, workshops and other information on offer to crafters and hobbyists.
In May we also celebrate Mother’s Day, and we are looking for interesting gifting ideas that we can share with the market. With shop-sa bringing the magazine and newsletters back home, so to speak, there is also going to be changes in the format of the magazine and newsletters. As they say, watch this space!
Back-to-school is behind us, and by all accounts trading has been good.
There has been feedback that in some instances retailers still had stock from last year which did affect purchases.
shop-sa will run a survey shortly, in order to get a better picture of this year’s BTS.
Remember: the more participants, the better the result.
Covid seems to have reached a manageable level which bodes well for business recovery.
Finally we would like to urge members of shop-sa to make use of the advertising opportunities in our newsletters!
What another crazy year this has been with covid, the delta variant, the riots and looting in KZN and Gauteng, and global supply chain problems.
But as always, South Africa in general and our industry in particular has shown great resilience and moved forward.
Just as we thought a degree of normality is achievable, the UK and many other countries decided that “omicron” is a South African variant and within hours the effects are evident.
Adding that to the expected 4th wave, there is no doubt that business will be affected, starting with the tourism industry.
An additional challenge for any company is to develop a vaccination policy.
shop-sa will keep members informed of developments in this regard.
The biggest challenge for shop-sa and My Office News is financial. Without advertising support in our Nnewsletters and increased membership, the future is uncertain.
Our wish for 2022 is that membership numbers increase so that shop-sa can continue it’s work and provide much needed input for our industry.
Remember that “none of us is as smart as all of us”.
Finally, spare a thought for friends and loved ones who passed during the year, including an ex colleague of mine, Dave Trollip in East London, and a well-known character, Val Budd, ex Waltons.
We wish you a safe and peaceful festive season and hopefully a better 2022!
Your shop-sa board
The shop-sa AGM was held via Zoom on Thursday 21 October 2021.
Hans Servas, chairman of the board, opened the meeting and invited guest speaker, David Shapiro, to begin.
Shapiro gave a talk entitled The Chips are Down. In the talk, he highlighted the perhaps surprising positive global outlook for the next five years. What drives the positivity is the huge growth in technology, as shown by Dutch company ASML.
Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, said in an interview that there are thousands of businesses in the US that still have to migrate to the cloud to achieve efficiencies, migrate to a more accessible flexible tech. In general, it would appear that global businesses are positive about growth in the future.
The current negativity around semiconductors aside, by the end of the decade they see semiconductor sales at $1-trillion, despite the shortage that we hear about. This is because of the continual rise of IoT, electric cars and the many devices in modern society that use chips.
The global economy is heading in the right direction, but precise modelling is very difficult. Shapiro warned people to be wary of forecasts in the time being; no one knows how the world economy are going to get out the situation. The last 18 months have impacted people and businesses across the board.
In general, South African CEOs appear to have a positive outlook, and the demand for many industries is either steady or growing. However, government needs to come to the party and keep its promises.
The crisis that we faced when we went into lockdown was a health crisis, and not a financial one. The markets did not reflect a financial crisis as it was a government-induced slowdown.
This could have been a moment for global co-operation, but it unfortunately wasn’t as people went insular instead of co-operative. However, central banks did pump money into the global economy.
People are extending their savings, and thus there is an extreme level of demand. Consumers are spending money on things and global trade is surging.
In closing, Shapiro urges businesses not to give up hope that things will improve – particularly during the festive period.
The AGM reached quorum and confirmation of the minutes of 2020 was given.
The report-back on the year that was is outlined below:
- The weekly My Office News newsletter, sent to a large database of trade and end-users, and the monthly Trade News newsletter, both showed increased readership. The aim is to keep the industry informed of any development which could affect business.
Rob Mathews’ report-back will provide details.
Unfortunately, advertising revenue dropped further and with it shop-sa’s income.
- The Product Source Guide is still well supported but could be utilised even more by suppliers, especially new entrants.
Critical, but not used, is the Crime Alert. With theft and corruption continuing unabated, this is a “must” for the industry.
- Surveys in 2020/21The result of our State of the Industry survey was published in June 2020, providing valuable insights into the impact “lock-downs” were having on our industry. Not a pretty picture, but most survived!In October 2020, shop-sa conducted another important survey, BTS 20/21 Expectations as a Result of Covid, which was followed by the Results survey in April.
Both had a representative response and confirmed that expectations were realistic, i.e. turnover at around 75% of last year.
It also highlighted the fact that the delay of returning to school impacted on the product mix.
- In May 2021, we published the revised OPI report to members. It showed that the impact of the pandemic was similar globally.
- Live events were not possible due to the various restrictions, although the response even during normal times was always disappointing.
- In March 2021, the board held a strategy meeting to discuss ways of how to revitalise and save the association and My Office.
Rob Matthews presented a proposal to develop a platform to hold virtual trade shows and other events to provide a much needed boost to the finances of both. The board felt that even at a high cost the project was worth it and gave the go ahead. In June/July the first virtual trade show, the shop-sa Expo, was ready to be launched with a planned date of 19 August.
Then the riots happened and we had no choice but to postpone, hoping for calm to return.
It did, and the date was moved to the 1 September. Even though this will form part of the 2021/22 report, it is important to know how successful the event was: 13 exhibitors, including Kolok as Platinum Sponsor, attracted 2 347 unique visitors and 5 487 visits to the various exhibits (both live and static) and video presentations. Surely this must entice more suppliers and brands to come on board the next time.
- Local and global challenges remain, such as rebuilding the destruction in KZN and Gauteng. Luckily “only” a few stationery outlets were affected. Globally the breakdown of supply chains and shortages of semiconductors and other commodities will be felt for some time to come, not to mention other factors like “work from home”, POPIA, and the CNA business rescue.
- shop-sa finances
It should be noted, that the board made the decision some time age to use the funds of the association to keep it going, hoping that the various activities and initiatives will result in the industry becoming more involved, not only financially.
Membership showed a small increase but the income only contributes a small portion to the overall revenue.
If a larger number of business were to join, at least break-even would be possible.
Advertising revenue dropped again reducing income even more.
Expenses have been kept as low as possible but cannot be reduced further.
Rob Matthews of My Office News gave a presentation on the growth of the publication, highlighting the success of initiatives like the inaugural virtual trade show.
Board elections took place. The board remains as it is, and members are as follows:
- Hans Servas – Chairman
- Bill Bayley
- Allan Thompson
- Clive Heydenrych
- Lars Smith
- Mark Penhall
I am happy to report that the first virtual trade show, the inaugural shop-sa Expo (hosted by shop-sa and My Office on 1 September), exceeded expectations!
So much so that we are keeping the recordings and video presentations by exhibitors open until the end of September. You can visit them by clicking here
A big thank you to the cross-section of exhibitors, the Platinum Sponsor Kolok, and of course the thousands of “visitors”.
We are sure that shop-sa‘s investment in the development of this platform will greatly benefit the association and its members in future.
So watch this space for the next event.
The board has again decided to hold shop-sa‘s AGM on Zoom on the 21 October 2021.
Your participation is important and we look forward to “see you there”!
Remember: none of us is as strong as all of us!
In view of the volatile situation in our country, we have decided to postpone our first virtual trade show, the shop-sa Expo, which was to take place on 11 August 2021.
We hope that none of our members have been affected or suffered losses!
We will let you know when we are ready to hold the virtual expo, to which a number of key suppliers have already committed.
Thank you for your understanding and, most importantly, stay safe!
There is still time to take part in shop-sa’s BTS survey, which was sent to Industry members at the beginning of April.
There has been a reasonable response so far, but the greater the participation the more representative the result will be.
We are still in uncertain and volatile times and surveys like this help you, our members, to gain inside into the state of our industry.
Please let us know if you didn’t receive the questionnaire. We will immediately send it to you!
Remember, your response is anonymous.
What a year 2020 has been!
The effects of Covid-19 have wreaked havoc on a personal level – and, of course, on the economies globally.
Our industry was (and is) hard hit, but seems to be surviving – although at huge cost. Not to mention the effect on staff, be it pay cuts and/or retrenchments.
Luckily, we have not heard of any business closures.
Unfortunately, the pandemic is not over and a second wave is expected.
To avoid further restrictions and to keep the economy going, it is imperative that the country heeds the President’s call to stay vigilant and follow the basic rules, both in businesses and on the home front.
shop-sa will continue to keep you informed via the weekly My Office News and the monthly Trade Newsletter.
Again we appeal to you to support our efforts by utilising the advertising opportunities and paying the small membership fees, for which invoices have been mailed.
Thank you to those who have continued their support. Without you, our funds would have shrunk even faster.
The board wishes you a peaceful and healthy festive season, and what is hopefully a much better 2021!
Although many people act as if we are back to normal, we cannot let our guard down and we’ll hopefully escape the second wave.
shop-sa also had to adapt and we held our first successful digital AGM on 28 October 2020.
Thank you to the members who registered and participated. A write-up of the event was published in the October edition of our Trade newsletter. You can read it here
Again, a special thank you to David Shapiro, who gave an informative and entertaining talk. It was just a pity that not more members took the opportunity to take part.
During the Year of Covid-19, the board has tried – and succeeded – to keep the industry informed, which we understand many members have found useful.
In order to continue, we implore all members to continue to contribute. Invoices for the small membership fee will be posted shortly.
Finally, we include a recent global OPI survey which is interesting when compared to our own situation. You can read it here
Even though these are extremely challenging times, we know that our industry will survive!