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EGG: Phygital future

Instagram: @weare_egg
Instagram: @weare_egg

Instagram: @weare_egg

Just when we thought physical retail was dead, it turns out the chicken came before the EGG.

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that nothing is certain, and even the most foolproof and hardy of institutions, such as your trusty mass-fashion retailers of the past, could all come toppling down in a matter of weeks. For months, we lived online and e-commerce became the only option for most of us. The road to the future of the industry was paved with URLs and PayPal checkouts. The only problem was, we didn’t stop being human, craving interaction, physical contact, the ability to try things on and interact with our clothing before committing to a purchase, the joy of an outing or an experience with friends or loved ones, or even the simple possibility of turning shopping into something more than a cash transaction.

Now, imagine a space that allows you to experience fashion in a way you never have, with all the comforts, luxuries and trappings of a marketplace environment, the added benefits of online shopping and digital interfacing, and stock of some of the best that local fashion has to offer.

We give you EGG, South Africa’s newest and most unique innovation in fashion retail, an omnichannel experience that collaborates, cocreates and coevolves. It’s doing it all as a local community, forming a world-class in-store experience that’s also available online. It launched its flagship at the end of last November in Cape Town, the first of many exciting and unique stores to come, catering for fashion, food, accessories, beauty, wellness, living and, in addition to many international brands, stocks many of your favourite local names such as Pina Jewels, Missibaba, Sealand, Rowdy, Pichulik, Black Betty, Dr Pachanga and many more.

What is EGG?

It’s a ‘phygital’ experience that gives local (and international) brands a platform to grow. I realised retail in SA needed to be reimagined since many other industries had already been disrupted. As a result, many local brands were excluded from the formal shopping-mall environment. That allowed us to make EGG the platform to bring innovation and creativity back into shopping centres, and offer local brands the support they needed during these difficult times.

Why this approach?

The world’s not what it used to be, and neither’s retail. We wanted local brands to be seen and bring excitement back to shopping malls.

Why local brands?

They’re underrepresented in physical shopping centres, which limits their growth. By democratising retail and giving smaller brands a platform to grow, we enable them, and the economy, to flourish.

Why experiential shopping?

People are travelling to stores less due to e-commerce, so we needed to create something experiential you could only feel if you were there, and give people a reason not to resort to online shopping. That also allows smaller brands to interact with customers and forge bonds to sustain their future development.

What can we look forward to in this space?

Around 250 local and international brands, and seven fully equipped departments, including fashion, food, wellness, beauty, accessories and jewellery, customisation stations, and a fully equipped photo-booth to capture your moments in-store.

Why now?

People are desperate for human interaction and the opportunity to experience products first-hand, so this is the perfect platform to satisfy that need.

Your thoughts on the responsibility that we, as South African consumers, have towards growing the economy from within? How does fashion factor into that?

By supporting local brands, we enable consumers to grow the economy, meaning we pave the way for more local brands to follow in their footsteps.

Your plans?

While no two stores will be the same, you can expect the EGG experience whenever you step into one of our spaces. We’ll reimagine retail in some of your favourite shopping spots and places you might not expect.

What sets EGG apart from other retailers, from an experiential, visual, production, business culture and customer culture point of view?

We’re uniting omnichannels in a multidimensional shopping experience that combines retail, e-commerce and an interactive consumer app while appealing to a new generation of consumer who’s seeking an all-inclusive entertainment, locally sourced, learning and lifestyle fulfilment experience from a trip to the mall.

Your in-store experience will be enhanced by the EGG app – while you’re shopping in an EGG store, you can call for assistance from the EGG team, who are there to help you make the most of what’s on offer. Water is just a tap away, meaning you can request refreshment via the app, then quench your thirst at our water fountain. While you’re browsing brands and discovering your new favourites, you can simply scan a QR code to find out everything you’d like to know about our partners. Soon, you’ll be able to shop online too – even while you’re in the store. Once you’ve checked out, we’ll drop off your items at a click-and- collect booth, so you can skip the queues.

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