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Who We Are

A team of industry professionals with a passion for the retail space

Our Team Of Experts

We have many years of experience and a wealth of knowledge from both the Brand Owner/Supplier and Retailer perspectives.

William Steenkamp
Managing Director

Retail is in my blood and I’m passionate about helping businesses to win in the retail space. I have extensive experience in helping teams move their relationships from transactional to strategic partnerships.

I am a chartered accountant and have held directorships in Finance, Supply Chain, HR, Customer Development, Commercial (Marketing, Sales, R&D, Foodservices, Global Exports) and Global Customer Management.

I lived in the UK for just more than 4 years where I was responsible for managing a portfolio of Global Customers (Tesco, Auchan and Costco-Europe). During this time, I travelled frequently to Europe, China and Thailand and worked with the local teams to win with these Customers in their local markets.

I have managed and facilitated global capability programs, transforming face-to-face training programs into virtual and E-learning formats. Companies I have worked for include: PricewaterhouseCoopers (3yrs), Imperial Cargo (5yrs), Kimberly-Clark (9,5yrs), Irvin & Johnson (2,5yrs) and Johnson & Johnson (6yrs – 4yrs in UK).

Jaco De Swardt

I’m a self-starter, who likes helping businesses improve through simplification and an absolute focus on key opportunities. I am also tenacious and don’t give up until the job is done.

I have 27 years Food Retail (FMCG) experience, the last 7yrs as Food Buying Director for the Shoprite Checkers Group. I have extensive operational management experience in Food Retailing from working within the regional / divisional team.

I have worked in various markets in Africa, including South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho. I believe there are still many opportunities to drive retail growth within Africa and I want to help businesses (Suppliers and Retailers) looking to expand or just improve their operations/performance on the African continent.

After having worked for many years on the buying-side, I am now enjoying also working with manufacturers/suppliers to understand what is important for the Retailers and how they can improve their own performance.

Ernie Steenkamp
Head of Key Account Management

I have 6 years experience at Managing Director and Customer Executive level in FMCG with 10 years experience at Senior Sales level. With a MBA Stellenbosch Business School and Hons Biokinetics (Univ of Potchestroom).

I have managed customers such as Shoprite Group, Spar Group, PnP Group, Massmart, Independents and Wholesale, Foodservices and Forecourts. I have worked for Libstar (5yrs), Polyoak (2yrs), Ceres Fruit Juices (6yrs) and Premier Foods (5yrs).

My passion is Sales Strategy and Customer Relationships, helping clients develop and succeed at both category growth and being relevant in the eyes of the customer.

Peter-Owen Jones
Associate: Strategy and Talent Development

I have more than 30 years experience in the FMCG industry specialising in Sales, Customer and Strategy. With more than 20 years experience at Director and Executive level with experience across Perishables, Snacks, Beverages, Healthcare and Personal Care Categories.

With a MDP from Unisa School of Business. I've worked for companies such as : BRM (2yrs), RCL (2yrs), AVI (15yrs), Aspen (4yrs), Tiger Brands (5yrs) and Unilver (5yrs).

I am keen to share my extensive knowledge and experience in this exciting and ever changing industry. My passion is to develop high performing teams and individuals.

Jeremy Karsen
Associate : Head of Africa Exports

I was Head of Africa Exports for Libstar Group for 4 years where I managed 12 countries. I head up the Key Account Management, Distributor and Agent Management, and Market and Category Insights. I also have 7 years experience in FMCG production and supply chain.

Studied BSc Hons in Winemaking, Viticulture and Soils Science at Stellenbosch University.
I worked for Companies such as Libstar (4yrs), Elvin Beverages (2yrs), Chamonix Wine and Water (3yrs).

I love working across Africa, helping clients to identify opportunities and develop market solutions. I am passionate about finding the best distributors and working with them to develop sustainable business.

Abrie De Swardt

I have extensive experience in logistics and supply chain management, operations, strategic business development, brand management and building and leading teams. With a proven track record generating increased revenue, enhancing the bottom line and reducing costs and growing business units through effective business strategies resulting in long-term sustainable growth.

I have 23 years’ experience across the value chain from Buy to Sell side at a Director level and have also worked in industries such as petro-chemical, FMCG, Retail, Cosmetics and Beauty, Agriculture, Logistics and Consulting. I worked for companies such as Sasol, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods and Imperial Logistics.

I also lecture at Stellenbosch University for the Logistics Faculty specialising in Procurement and Supply Management.

Tracy Vogel
Associate: Head of Category Development

I have 32 years experience within Customer Development and Marketing. During which I worked at Johnson & Johnson SA as Head of Shopper Marketing and Category management. I had Category Development, Brand marketing and Customer Management roles at Unilever. I also unlocked Customer Growth Opportunities via Strategic partnerships with Shoprite/Checkers, Clicks, Dis-Chem, Pick ‘n Pay, Spar, Game, Makro and Pep. I drove Category and Brand growth by connecting with shoppers at multiple points along the shopper path to purchase. I was involved in Perfect Store development and implementation across multiple Categories, Channels and Customers. I managed Consumer and/or Customer Marketing Organisation and Skills Development Programmes for Coca-Cola and Kimberly-Clark and developed and implemented Customer, Shopper and Brand marketing strategies.
I worked at Johnson & Johnson SA for 6 years, Tracy Vogel & Associates as Consumer & Customer Marketing Consultant for 11 years as well as Unilever for 15 years.
I received a Bachelor’s degree of Business Science (B. Bus Sc.), Marketing and Marketing Research majors at University of Cape Town.
I’m passionate about brands, customers and the people that manage them. I enjoy developing their skills and helping them to work together to better meet the needs of shoppers and consumers, thereby achieving mutual and personal growth.

Our Mission

In an unprecedented era of change in retail, retailer expectations of their suppliers are high and include a menu of considerations, many of which could give you a competitive advantage. These include a myriad of supply chain, innovation, environmental and commercial considerations that can be complex and confusing. It’s our mission to help our clients win in retail, by helping them to navigate the complex retail maze and find the most efficient and effective way of doing things.

Our Approach

We work with our Client’s data, combining it with relevant Market, Customer, Shopper and Research data. We run it through advanced analytical and category management software to identify insights, trends, issues and opportunities that we then use to help shape the client’s strategy and plans, developing potential concepts and approaches. This is followed by execution-in-store and then ongoing review and evaluation.

  • Data

    Consumer data and research. Market and global trends. Advanced data analytics.

  • Insights

    Market, shopper and customer insights.

  • Strategy

    Where to play and how to win.

  • Plan

    What and when to do and who does what.

  • Action

    Measure execution and in store compliance. Review and adjust.

Our Strategic Partners

PnS_Group Logo_strapline


PnS is a leading retail execution business with over 40 years of experience at the shelf and in the aisles across retail channels and store formats. They translate client’s brand, promotional and category strategies into real impact on and off shelf. Experienced at people logistics, supported by world class field technology solutions, PnS ensures optimal resource deployment and the best possible return on your investment in execution. PnS has productive relationships at DC’s and on store floors with a reputation for exceptional execution, ensuring brand interests are served at every junction. PnS offers dedicated and syndicated sales and merchandising services as well as shopper marketing programmes for increased shopper engagement.

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Most of Retail Development Solutions training and category management tool suite have been developed by and are supported by Bridgethorne. UK based, Bridgethorne are global category, shopper and sales specialists, devoted to driving profitable brand growth. Data and research are transformed into practical and dependable insights that you can act upon with absolute confidence.

Bridgethorne provides consultancy, research, training and outsourced services to get products onto the right retail shelves and into shoppers’ baskets. Bridgethorne helps to uncover real, commercially driven retail opportunity.

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