SA company rises to the challenge of business evolution in the time of COVID-19

TIM LONDON - 20 May 2020

In 2017, online retailer Yuppiechef, made the unusual decision of opening physical shops; a move from clicks to bricks. This story, captured in a UCT GSB case study published last year, surfaced a business model that is supple in finding solutions and deeply customer-centric – Yuppiechef has an extremely high record of positive feedback (99%) on customer service watchdog Hellopeter.com, which noted that 60% of purchases from Yuppiechef were from returning customers. 



Bringing the same level of customer satisfaction to their new physical stores was a challenge but one that co-founder and CEO, Andrew Smith, took seriously. And now, with lockdown forcing the closure of their physical shops, the company has once again turned to its customers for guidance. In responding to customers’ requests they are adding new products daily to their online offering.

Like most businesses around the world, Yuppiechef is having to find ways to deal with the disruption to business caused by the unprecedented global disaster that is COVID-19 and strict regulations imposed by governments to contain it. 

In a recent discussion with Dr Tim London, Head of Organisational Innovation at the UCT GSB, Smith explained that being able to adapt to changing market conditions, as well as supply and demand was absolutely vital in helping the company build its brand from the start. It is this same thinking that has helped them be more flexible in adapting their business model to the challenges brought on by the current crisis.

Read more about this in UCT GSB Assoc Prof Mignon Reyneke's article, Agility in action: How one SA company has risen to the challenge of business evolution in the time of COVID-19



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