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LEGO store comes to SA

The Great Yellow Brick Co will launch South Africa’s first LEGO Certified Store in Sandton City at the end of this month.

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The 179m2 Sandton City store is the first LEGO Certified Store on the African continent, with similar stores found in 20 other countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East and North America. The Great Yellow Brick Co will open additional certified stores throughout South Africa in the future, creating up to 20 new jobs per store.

The Great Yellow Brick Co, founded by Robert Greenstein, Hayley Greenstein and Greg Bergh, will also be transferring the experience of a LEGO Certified Store into the online world, offering online shoppers in South Africa access to the most extensive LEGO range available in the region.

While LEGO products are available at franchise and independent toy retailers elsewhere in South Africa, The Great Yellow Brick Co is the first LEGO Certified Store in the country, signalling the Danish company’s recognition that South Africa is ready for a premium toy experience in an exclusively branded retail outlet.

LEGO Certified Stores are designed by The LEGO Group, and adhere to store fit-out and experience guidelines stipulated by the Group to maintain its focus on playfulness and creative experiences, rather than on conventional retail principles. Created as experiential playgrounds for LEGO fans old and new, certified stores offer unique features not seen in independent retailers.

“Sandton City is the perfect location for this flagship store,” says Jonathan Sinden, Chief Operating Officer of Sandton City’s co-owners, Liberty Two Degrees. “With the recent launch of Sandton City’s Fun District, a level dedicated to family entertainment, the introduction of a LEGO Store enhances the centre’s offering for children.

“Sandton City’s evolving tenant mix is in line with the global trends of premium international retail centres, and a LEGO® Certified Store aligns well with Liberty Two Degrees’ strategy of bringing global experiences to its existing clients, and to South Africa alike.”

The playful and personal retail environment aligns well with 2018 retail trends, which include product and experience personalisation, augmented reality, and the popularity of carefully curated product ranges – all of which are key elements of a LEGO Certified Store. Importantly, while many adult fans of LEGO sets in particular have purchased their limited editions online, the assortment will be even bigger than the current LEGO offering in South Africa as they can now buy them directly from a certified local supplier.

Says Robert Greenstein, “I’ve always loved LEGO products, so I approached the company in 2014 to open a store similar to what I’d seen abroad, but at the time the brand felt that the local market wasn’t ready for a certified store in South Africa. However, The LEGO Group firmly believes in relationships, and we kept in touch until the time was right to explore the idea further. In 2016, we were given another opportunity to pitch for the contract.”

Kristian Imhof, Country Manager for The LEGO Group in South Africa, commented: “South Africans have had a decades-long love for LEGO sets and products, from children who learn the basics of construction, fine-motor skills or the sheer possibilities of the imagination, to adults who will go to extraordinary lengths to complete their themed collections. We are excited that this dedicated store will give fans old and new the opportunity to continue building their LEGO world.”

The Great Yellow Brick Co will be located in a stretch of the mall that is home to several experiential stores, near the Food Court and the mall’s revamped cinema complex.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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