Cape Union Mart has grown but their head office team still knows who’s who

Marina Pape
May 15, 2020
Head of Marketing

Case study: Names & Faces for retail

Location: South Africa
Industry: Retail
Directory categories: Department & Team
Contact info: Mobile, landline, extension, work email
Data source: Google Sheet
Favorite feature: Photos of each staff member

Cape Union Mart is a South African brand synonymous with adventure, gadgets, and the outdoors. The family business has grown exponentially over the past five years to become a national retailer with notable brands like Poetry, K-Way and Old Khaki also under its wings.


  1. As the family business evolved, it was hard to retain the culture of everyone knowing names and who was who in the fast growing business.
  2. Executives in particular needed to be able to contact employees when offsite without having to rely on HR.
  3. Reception needed quick access to up to date contact details of the team when fielding telephone calls.

A simple, fast way to look up and learn everyone’s names

Knowing people’s names - including new hires - has always been a huge priority for Cape Union Mart CEO, André Labuschaigne. This became an increasing challenge as the company grew.

Names & Faces makes it easy for all head office staff to look up and learn the names and faces of their colleagues, and quickly check useful information like job title, team, and contact details. 

Contact details at the fingertips of those who need them

The executive team needed to be able to contact head office staff when offsite but calling reception or HR to get contact details wasted time.

Being able to instantly contact a colleague when you’re not at the office makes doing what you need to do that much easier." – Joshua Friedman, HR Business Partner at Cape Union Mart Group.

Names & Faces puts contact details at the fingertips of the company directors for urgent requests and has become a vital way they stay in touch. As Joshua puts it, Names & Faces is their 'electronic phone directory' for Head Office.

Some of the head office team at the Names & Faces app launch in October 2017.
Cape Union Mart staff on their phones during a meeting? The Names & Faces launch, of course.

Reception can look employees and ascertain their team in order to correctly field phone calls

As the organization continued to grow, so did the number of teams per department. Joshua was able to add this information to their directory which means it has become a really useful tool for reception.

In the past, when receptionists got calls and enquiries, they were using a printed manual to find people’s numbers but it didn’t include new hire or team info and was often out of date. Now, everyone can search by team or department and quickly find who they’re looking for – all electronically. 

"Names & Faces solves humans' basic need of interacting personally and amplifies the 'people; aspect of our culture." - Joshua Friedman, HR Business Partner, Cape Union Mart Group