Research projects

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Welcome to the WRLC Research Hub.

The W&R Seta Chair is committed to conducting exceptional research that is aligned with the national imperative to encourage more postgraduate studies and to increase the production of research outputs through accredited research articles, books, book chapters and conference proceedings.

Studies under this Chair present sector specific research and impact studies in the wholesale and retail field covering the South African and wider international contexts.​

Find recent Working Papers produced within the WRLC here.

 White Papers

Thriving in retail in the world of e-commerce

The global impact of technology has been nothing short of enormous. There is no facet of life that has not been touched by technological developments in recent years. Technology has impacted every aspect, from education to the medical field, travel, food, logistics; and banking, among many others (Wardynski, 2019). The retail sector has not escaped this phenomenon either. Online shopping is just one aspect of developments in technology, and it is changing how industries choose to merge traditional operations with new methods of trading.

This paper argues for an integrated approach to seamless e-commerce retailing. Click here to read


Research papers


The riveting world of omni-channel from a low-income consumers’ perspective-How can the retailer adapt?

As we are gradually reaching the end of the COVID_19 pandemic, a lot of things have changed, especially in the world of Retail. Some of these changes will inevitably stay the same yet some will undoubtedly become the new way of life. Retailing is one of the many sectors that have succumbed to the evolution of consumer behaviour and this has forced the industry to be proactive in how they can keep the support of the consumer by touching on all points of the consumer journey.

This research paper addresses challenges faced by retailers by conducting interviews with 20 participants and undertaking a qualitative analysis in order to understand the low-income consumers behaviour, challenges, shopping journeys, and overall omni-channel experience. Click here to read more

W&r Seta Chair Leadership Chair Pop Up 2


The fuel retail industry is a challenging and highly competitive environment. With the fluctuating prices of petrol and diesel, it is safe to say that fuel retailers face many challenges within this space.

The Wholesale and Retail Seta Chair (Gauteng) Dr. Beate Stiehler-Mulder came together with Professor Thea Tselepis of the University of Johannesburg to embark on a study that aims to understand the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual  challenges and experiences of the Fuel Retailer to better understand the giant that is the Fuel Retail system.

Click here to read the full report

Exploring a motivational approach to curb employee theft in FMCG retailing in South Africa

‘Employee theft is a source of shrinkage that is influenced by the challenging economic environment, impacts everyone in the business and, together with overall shrinkage, has a severe impact on retailers amidst the challenging environment. To understand how to curb shrinkage, it is important to get a better understanding of the causes of shrinkage. Therefore, this study aims to contextualise the prevalence and causes of employee theft in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailing in South Africa and explore motivational strategies to curb employee theft.

Click here to read the full report


Our first article is available to read on Bizcommunity:
Omnichannel retailing: Are your online and offline experiences consistent?

We all know about the importance of omni-channel retailing; but what about the latest segment to join the world of online shopping – the low-income South African consumer?
In this research report, Dr Beate Stiehler-Mulder and Dr Nicole Cunningham unpack the low-income consumer’s omni-channel experience, and provide insights into the offline-to-online journey, delivery methods, the emotions that come with online shopping, brand engagement, and the importance of both the physical and the online store.
This paper is available here

Check out our latest article:

What’s driving online shopping among SA’s low-income


When retailers were creating an online presence, they initially excluded low-income consumers based on several assumptions. In this article, Mahlatse Mathabathe and Dr. Beate Stiehler-Mulder look at how travel costs, convenience, product type and the physical store aspect influences low-income consumer online shopping.

This article is available here