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Trendspotters at SACSC Congress this week

London-based Lady Kinvara Balfour and Zurich-based Magnus Lindkvist, both international trendspotters, are scheduled to speak at the 18th Annual Congress of the SA Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) at the CTICC from 20-22 August 2014.

Magnus Lindkvist
Magnus Lindkvist
Lady Kinvara Balfour
Lady Kinvara Balfour
"In our capacity as sponsor to the congress, we are pleased with the addition of these forward-thinking speakers in the line-up, who will highlight the need for innovation in the retail sector to stay abreast of trends and understand the mind of the consumer," says Frank Berkeley, managing executive: Nedbank Corporate Property Finance.

"A trendspotter is someone who relentlessly gathers ideas about where we are currently, and where we seem to be headed," says Lindkvist. "It's what Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick, called an 'opportunistic collector'."

His keynote address will start with the idea of creating the future and not simply competing for it. "For retailers, I see myself as a lens that is constantly fine-tuning reality and helping them move forward."

A post-recession global 'cash bubble'; a surprising slow-down in innovation worldwide; and the emergence of entrepreneurship are key trends he will touch on at the congress. Lindkvist also plans to speak about Africa as the so-called 'next Asia', both in terms of its opportunities and challenges.

International trend hawk, Balfour will be delivering a keynote address at the SACSC Congress, highlighting global trends that South Africa's retail sector should know about. "The role of a trend hawk is to give retailers an upper hand and help them bring products to market on trend and on time," she explains. "That's key in a world that moves so fast."

Just some of the sectors she monitors are culture, beauty and technology. In South Africa, fashion trends are something she's already watching closely. Balfour will be speaking about how best to cultivate not only brand consistency, but also customer loyalty - topics that are close to retailers' hearts. "I'll also be sharing some of the 'secret sources' I use to spot hot new trends. After all, the trend-sharing is almost as much fun as the trendspotting!"

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