Superbalist founders Claude Hanan and Luke Jedeikin have joined TFG – The Foschini Group – to help the company to create a world-class omni-channel shopping experience.
Hanan and Jedeikin are seasoned South African ecommerce entrepreneurs having created the most successful online fashion retailer in the country.
Their ecommerce journey started in November 2010 when they founded Citymob with business partner Daniel Solomon.
Headquartered in Cape Town, Citymob quickly became a favourite among online shoppers thanks to its exclusive experiences, premium products, and hand-selected styles.
In 2013 Citymob pivoted the business to fashion ecommerce as Superbalist, which became South Africa’s largest online retailer.
The company was acquired by Takealot in 2014 and four years later merged with Spree to create a South African online fashion powerhouse.
Hanan and Jedeikin were the driving force behind Superbalist’s success and served as co-CEOs until their departure in December 2019.
They built Superbalist from a self-funded startup to South Africa’s most recognisable online fashion outlet boasting annual sales exceeding R1 billion.
After a 1-year sabbatical, Hanan and Jedeikin have joined forces again by joining TFG to drive the company’s ecommerce ambitions.
“Luke and I are really excited to be back in the game,” Hanan told MyBroadband.
He said the appeal of TFG is clear to anyone who has worked in ecommerce businesses – enormous scale behind world class products, highly recognizable brands, and best-in-class product margins.
Another great asset is TFG’s vast store network spanning over 3,000 locations. This extensive network allows for innovative approaches to fulfilment.
“With over 16 million TFG rewards customers and an in-house credit and lay-buy offering, there is tremendous potential for a world-class omni-channel offering,” Hanan said.
He said Superbalist’s biggest challenge was that the “90% opportunity” in South Africa still remained in brick-and-mortar stores.
“Even with the aggressive year-on-year online growth we expect, physical stores will remain the majority of sales for some years to come,” Hanan said.
In-store the group has already rolled out RFID, conversion tracking and analytics dashboards. The opportunity to modernize and continue to digitize the customer experience and store network across fintech, logistics, personalization, and customer analytics is as exciting as the opportunity to build a world-class ecommerce platform, he said.
“The two live side by side in this multi-channel world where the customer seamlessly moves between physical and online shopping,” he said.
Hanan knows the success of any strategy lies in the execution.
“In this regard we’re really excited to again be working with Brad Whittington, the former CTO at Superbalist,” he said.
Whittington is the top tech mind in South Africa when it comes to ecommerce and has a wealth of experience having scaled Superbalist and watched Takealot scale its business.
Whittington will assist Hanan and Jedeikin in defining and executing TFG’s technology roadmap, and work with them in attracting South Africa’s top tech talent to work on the project.
TFG is a well-run company with great potential, and with Hanan and Jedeikin heading up the new omni-channel strategy it is set become an even greater force in the South African retail space.