What’s in Store ?

When it comes to shopping, Johannesburg is hopping. The past decade has seen an explosion of international brands setting up shop in the City of Gold, Africa’s de facto shopping capital. Some brands have entered the lucrative market through stand-alone stores, while others are brought in by increasingly savvy boutique retailers like Life, Croft & Co., Apsley House, Swoon and The Wish Collection.
Other exclusive clothing and cosmetics brands are brought in – and increasingly so – by any one of the “Big Three” remaining department stores in South Africa: Stuttafords (Banana Republic, FCUK, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap), Edgars (Bobbi Brown) and Woolworths (Ren, Country Road). And there’s more to come.

The Big Three are feverishly reinventing the way they do business – and rightfully so. They only need glance over their collective shoulder to see the skeletons littering the retail route. Remember Greatermans, Greenacres, and John Orrs? Ansteys, Payne Brothers, Belfast, and Garlicks? And countless others whose names gather dust in the archives?

South Africa has a proud tradition of department store retailing, not dissimilar in time lines or sophistication levels to its counterparts in the US or UK. Edgars was established in Johannesburg’s Joubert Street in 1929, and for many years was controlled by Johannesburg’s powerful Press family, led by Sydney Press, who first joined the company as a Christmas casual in 1935 before retiring in 1982. Since its unbundling, it has evolved into “the leading retailer of clothing, footwear, and accessories in southern Africa”, with some 152 stores.

Woolworths was established by Max Sonnenberg in Cape Town in 1931, completely unrelated to Woolworths in the US, Europe or Australia. Rather, it was the UK’s Marks & Spencer (M&S) with which Woolworths formed a strategic link after World War II. According to a Woolworths’ publicist, “Sonnenberg and Sir Simon Marks, son of the M&S founder, became good friends, which led to M&S buying all the unissued share capital of Woolworths in 1947. Later, David Susman, Woolworths’ managing director, married Anne Laski, Lord Marks’ niece. Although M&S ultimately sold its shares in Woolworths, the two companies maintained close personal ties as well as a formal technology agreement”. Personnel between the two chains regularly visit each others’ operations.

South Africa’s oldest remaining department store, Stuttafords, was established in Cape Town in 1857 – a half-century before the UK’s Selfridges. “People feel close to Stuttafords,” says its CEO, Marco Cicoria. “It’s a heritage brand, more than 150 years old, and we’re planning a new-generation take on our heritage. I mean, we were just in London and you should see the banners for Selfridges’ 100th birthday – we’re a half-century older. In fact, Stuttafords is older than Marks & Spencer and many other iconic brands.”

In its day, the centre of Johannesburg was the centre of the universe. Dr Ivan May, who worked at Greatermans in the Jo’burg city centre, sets the scene: “Besides Greatermans, there was Thrupps on Pritchard Street, Ansteys on the corner of Jeppe and Joubert, Stuttafords on the corner of Rissik and Pritchard, Belfast on Market Street and – much later – Garlicks in the Carlton Centre, on the corner of Commissioner and Kruis. Belfast was ‘old money’, for the blue-haired brigade. John Orrs was still run by the Orr family, with the Orrco theatre in the store – think Welsh rarebit, pillbox hat and gloves – but it quickly demised as the family moved on. Ansteys closed; it just petered out. Greatermans was one of the longest surviving as it embraced innovation in its time. We had Le Grand Café, a whole seasonal Parisian theme by Estée Lauder in our cosmetics/beauty section on the ground floor, main entrance. We stocked Aramis ‘tortoise shell’, Devin, very ‘English country-estate gentlemen’, rivalling Yardleys. I remember there was a huge meeting with the store’s general manager, Martin Fonn, who was so angry when Edgars was first allowed to stock Estée Lauder. In its day, Greatermans was like a mini Hyde Park shopping centre. A department store is theatre. Merchandising and presentation are absolutely critical.”

Remaining relevant is crucial. US historian Jan Whitaker, author of Service & Style: How the American Department Store Fashioned the Middle Class, says, “The department store worldwide has shown great versatility in surviving thus far and may surprise us in the future. At the same time, I find it hard to imagine how it will make an appeal to the younger generations. The best model is probably not in the US, but in Japan, where it has become a family community centre complete with art museums, elaborate exhibit halls and movie theatres.”

Winter is here and it’s Time to cut down on that Electricity Bill

Pool and Spa Energy Saving Tips 

 

In earlier year’s swimming pools in residential homes were few and far between, however today nearly every second home has a swimming pool that is used for leisure and entertainment. A swimming pool is great to have, but can turn out to be very costly. Taking into account the chemicals, filtration system and most expensive of all the energy use. So if we can find a way to reduce the energy use of your swimming pool, this will result in large monthly cash savings.

1.      Maintain proper water circulation

Water circulation is an important part in a pool system as it maintains the good quality of pool water. The water circulation is affected by the following:

  • The running time of the pool pump
  • The state of the filtration system
  • The state of the skimmer box and basket

During the summer months make sure that your pool pump runs for at least 8 hours per day to allow for proper circulation of the pool chemicals keeping the water clean.

Ensure that you clean your pool filter every second week, whether it is a cartridge or sand filter. Also make sure your skimmer box and basket is free of debris as this will result in the pool pump running normally. The pool pump will work more efficiently if kept cleaned which contributes to energy saving on a daily basis.

2.      Keep the pool clean

This is all about pool maintenance which takes time, a commodity which most of us have very little to spare these days. However if you keep your pool clean you will save on pool chemicals as a clean pool uses less chemicals than a dirty one. In keeping your pool clean you will also affect its energy efficiency as clean water flows better and results in less strain on the pool equipment. If in your busy schedule you fail to keep up with the maintenance programme and miss a cleaning session, this can result in running the filtration system twice as long as normal to clean the water. There is a solution for this problem and that is making use of an automatic timer which is able to manage the operation of the pump and allow for more energy saving.

3.      The pool pump

Having the right pump for your pool is vital in your attempt to save energy as your pool pump, apart from the geyser, is the second appliance in your home that uses the largest amount of electricity. It can use up to as much as 11% of your monthly Eskom electricity bill. Firstly ensure your pump works for 6 to 8 hours per day in the summer and 4 to 6 hours per day in the winter months, it is also advisable to let your pump run at night which will result in further cost savings. Another option is to consider using a smaller pool pump, e.g. a 0.75 horse power or smaller pump has been proved to be more than adequate the average home owner, and can result to as much as 75% saving of the running cost of the pump.

4.      Water evaporation

In order to reduce evaporation it is necessary to use a pool cover, not only in the cold winter months when the pool is not in use, but also during the warm summer months when no one is swimming. Heat loss is the cause of 75% of your water evaporation, and in order to reduce this figure even more it is recommended that you make use of a solar pool cover which reduces heat loss and thereby reducing water evaporation. The solar pool cover serves as a barrier between the air and your pool water and keeps the heat of the water constant which means you use less electricity in keep your water warm. The use of a pool cover is not only used for water evaporation but helps to keep leaves and debris from falling into the pool, and in so doing reduces the energy required to keep your pool clean as the filtering time is drastically reduced. A pool cover is also an excellent way of keeping a lot of dirt out of your pool as well as preventing water evaporation. Go Green Guys are one of the most reliable manufacturers of pool covers in Cape Town.

5.      Windbreaks.

If you live in an area that is very windy then it could be important to install a windbreak. Wind that blows constantly over your pool will result in unnecessary evaporation of the water. A windbreak can be in the form of a screen or fence, but nothing beats the natural windbreak of densely populated scrubs.

6.      Pool pump timer

We are all aware that the function of the pool pump is to keep the water circulating while trying to keep the energy used to do this to a minimum. When a pool pump timer is installed, it is set to run at just the right time in order to get the water properly circulating and then to switch off. If this is done, and is operating correctly, the energy saving can be of great benefit and the pool owner will save on costs. A timer can also also be used effectively if you a pool heating sytem installed. Pool heating Cape Town is quite common to allow pool owners to take advantage of their swimming pools during the cold winter months.

At Sandton Mag we are always trying to provide our readers and subscribers with information that can be put to good use. I really hope that this article has benefited the readers of Sandton Mag

Accommodation and resorts in Zanzibar

There are numerous resorts and hotels to choose from when visiting this beautiful East Africa island. All of which have panoramic beach views of the majestic Indian ocean. Zanzibar is an exotic tropical island with loads to offer. All of the accommodations on offer aim to give their guests a superb experience with nothing but the best of what Zanzibar has to offer. Whether you want to experience the wondrous s nature surrounding you, or whether you want a luxury getaway, none of these will disappoint you.  We recently chatted to the owners of Discover Zanzibar, a South African outfit that takes the pain out of booking the best Zanzibar accommodation available.

Double Tree by Hilton Hotel

The Double Tree Resort by Hilton Hotel is situated in Zanzibar-Nungwi on the beach-front. Enjoy the pearl white sand and the stunning view of the sea. The roofs of the hotel accommodation consists of palm tree leaves. This exotic location is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of every-day life. Enjoy the facilities of a pool containing fresh water. Or if you are more adventurous you can enjoy activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving if the marine world below excites you. You can enjoy an array of cuisine at the restaurants and bar. Savour a cocktail under a beach umbrella, overlooking the Zanzibar sunset.

The Palms

This resort prides itself in being one of the most intimate and romantic resorts in Zanzibar. Consisting of just six accommodation units. Soak up the breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean. Enjoy the facilities of the onsite pool and dining area. If tranquillity is what you’re seeking then head off to the on-site spar or take advantage of the diving facilities.

Zanzi Resort

This resort along the Indian Ocean offers accommodation with mystic views of the turquoise sea or, leafy, lush garden views. Relax with soft sand beneath your feet and the smell of the fresh ocean breeze in your lungs. The restaurant is equipped to satisfy culturally diverse taste buds. A pool and spa facilities forms part of this luxurious package. Discover Zanzibar offer packages to suit your pocket for several four and five star Zanzibar Hotels.

Next Paradise Boutique Resort

This boutique resort is ideally situated on the beautiful coast of the Indian Ocean. It is perfectly located for excursions to the many activities one can do in Zanzibar. Not far from this resort is a mystic coral reef for those enjoying the mysterious world below the sea. You can easily get to different destinations such as Nungwi beach and outings such as the spice tour, stone town, dolphin spotting, scuba diving, snorkelling and many more.

Chumbe Island Coral Park

Chumbe Island Coral Park is a nature reserve which is privately owned. It an award-winning reserve. It sports a sanctuary for protected coral reef, various wildlife species and acts as a reserve for the leafy green forest. The park is eco and environmentally friendly. If you love the outdoors and have the love for adventure and, nature then this accommodation would suit you. It provides you with eco and environmentally friendly bungalows. A very rustic yet accommodating place with superb cuisine. This accommodation enables you to be one with nature and, experience the freedom nature and the surrounding beach has to offer.

Discover Zanzibar are a partner of Discover South Africa, and specialize in negotiating the best holiday packages available. They manage this by maintaining intimate working relationships with the owners and managers of the Zanzibar hotels and resorts. Discover Zanzibar use these relationships to negotiate special deals which they can then offer up to their customers via the their website.

New Morningside Recipes

How often does a handful of new restaurants and delis find its way onto your culinary radar in one fell swoop? Look no further than Sandton’s latest shopping and dining mecca, coming online from 11 June at the contemporary Armani inspired Morningside Shopping Centre on the corner of Rivonia and Outspan roads there is lots on offer…

Food fundis know that tashas is not another cookie-cutter, single-concept franchise; rather, they can expect each tashas boutique café to offer a signature menu and interior décor specific to its location and customer profile.

At Morningside Shopping Centre, Natasha Sideris caters to a diverse clientele that she describes as spanning the ‘before-work’, ‘after-school’ and ‘lunch’ crowds, but with the overall focus set firmly on family-friendliness. Look to the Morningside tashas for a modern organic market showcasing fresh potted herbs, fresh flowers, free-range eggs and other healthy deli items, including freshly squeezed fruit juices, smoothies and homemade mueslis and yoghurts. Enjoy your nutritious breakfast or lunch on tashas wraparound balcony, and be sure not to miss the artisanal cheeses, made fresh on the premises! Relocating to the Morningside Shopping Centre is the authentic Italian eatery, Pomodoro.

Chef-patron Stefano Mas’s new, streamlined lunch menu – emphasizing modern, light Italian cuisine with a twist and balancing flavour with speed and service – as well as the on-site deli’s ready-made takeaway meals, breads and cheeses, are all perfectly suited to busy business execs and others on the go. Pomodoro offers three types of pizza at three price points – the standard mozzarella, fior di latte and, for the connoisseur, mozzarella di bufala. Try the pasta gamberi (penne with prawns and tequila) or the decadent melanzane, a brinjal-based Neapolitan treat. Mas plans to host a wine-bar on weekends, where he will serve up 10 to 12 excellent wines by the glass alongside antipasti or Italian-style tapas. There’s also a child-friendly menu that makes for great family meals.

Also coming to the Morningside Shopping Centre are: Tsunami Seafood Emporium; Sandton favourite, The Bread Basket; two new restaurants, The Green Peppercorn and Signature; a FEGO Café; a butchery; an ocean-fresh-fish store; and new-generation Woolies and Pick n Pay stores.