"Sportscene is seeing significant growth in brand loyalty from South African youth through its app," says TFG group director Donald Gedye. "Weekend Turn Up, a show on the Sportscene Studio media channel, can reach over a million views per episode, while its live stream radio station has hundreds of thousands of listeners with an average listenership of 25 minutes."

Gedye says that digital transformation is a key business objective for TFG, which has invested substantially in this area, and that Sportscene is at the forefront of this transformation.

"The most important communication channel for our youth audience is mobile and their purchase decisions begin there," says Gedye. "Our Sportscene customers are spending an average of three hours on their phones and two hours streaming music each day. So, Sportscene built a channel that is not simply a platform to shop but connects with our youth in an emotive way through music and content."

The app builds on the connection with the customer through music and artist collaboration. Building a relationship with this audience ensures an emotive connection and significant growth in brand loyalty, says Sportscene.

Central to this success is the Sportscene Studio, a media channel and content hub. Customers collaborate to create shows and content. With Sportscene Studio now operating in Johannesburg and soon to launch in Cape Town, customers can engage in creative and community-based masterclass programmes.

Besides the radio station and media channel, customers can also use the app to access a sneaker release calendar, as well as browse and shop their favourite brands, says the brand.

Sportscene has indicated that it is also building a following on social media, with 3.85 million followers across its platforms. Its popularity among youth aged between 16 and 21 was confirmed when it was named Coolest Clothing Store 2020 in the Sunday Times Next Gen Awards.

"The brand attraction has evolved. It's not just about product and price but rather about an emotive connection," says Gedye. "Sportscene is consumer research data-obsessed and this helps to develop a deeper understanding of its customer and to react to their needs quickly. As Sportscene has evolved its approach, it has seen online contribution sales go from below 2% of total revenue to over 10% of total revenue and climbing."

According to the brand, the Click to Collect method of delivery is a firm favourite among Sportscene's customers with a year to date growth of 11% and averaging 32% of total orders. The success of the digital transformation drive has also impacted bricks and mortar stores.

"Our research shows that even in our stores, customers are looking at their phones and so in every new store we've invested in digital. Rather than having traditional visual merchandising materials in our windows, we now have 6x9 inch screens to draw customers in. We've also implemented Radio Frequency Identification and Yoobic in over 2 000 stores across our group," adds Gedye.

With RFID every product tag emits a tiny radio pulse and allows stores to generate rapid stock data, minimising lost sales and reducing shrinkage. Staff uses a scanner to do a stock take in minutes turning every TFG store into a warehouse. TFG has also introduced Yoobic, a digital communication, training and task management system, to free up capacity and manage visual merchandising in stores.

"Sportscene's success supports our vision to transform our business through digital tools that meet our customers' needs. We are seeing digital drive up desire and traffic, online and in-store," concludes Gedye.

For more information, visit www.sportscene.co.za. You can also follow Sportscene on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram