The Foschini Group's Case Study on Marketplace | VTEX

The Foschini Group launches headless marketplace after migrating to VTEX

The South African retailer unified 18 brands in one website, overcoming limitations and updating its technological capabilities.


of transactions through the native app


of orders processed through the alternative payment method


increase in multi-brand orders


TFG (The Foschini Group) is a South African retailer with 26 brands from various segments, ranging from fashion to sporting apparel and electronics. The main change driver was the Group’s previous legacy system platform, that limited its technological freedom and flexibility to try out innovative solutions. 

When challenged with the task of reinventing the company’s ecommerce experience in South Africa, the TFG team was looking for: 

  • A way to unify all of its brands’ websites in one place so they could manage them through a single OMS.
  • A marketplace solution that offered an easy onboarding process.
  • Native and out-of-the-box integrations that could be scaled to all of the company’s needs.
  • A localized solution for particular needs, such as a specific mobile-only login system and a payment solution for TFG’s account card.

“What drew us to VTEX was the simplified API integration, the personalization level, and better features for customers. We are at the beginning of our omnichannel journey, and compared to its competitors, VTEX was the best choice regarding superior capabilities at a fraction of the time.” 

— Luke Jedeikin, co-founder of Bash


With VTEX, TFG launched a marketplace that absorbed 18 of its 26 South African brands into one single website called

Platform migration can be a challenge in itself, but the collaboration between VTEX’s Professional Services team and the over 120 developers at TFG Labs guaranteed a seamless process. By using out-of-the-box solutions, the VTEX team delivered an excellent and speedy replatforming experience.

Making the most of VTEX’s headless capabilities

At first glance,’s architecture looks pretty regular, but one thing stands out. The TFG developer team integrated a third-party headless CMS called Strapi to the VTEX main account. By using a headless approach, TFG has complete control of the content management system, which allows each brand to customize its marketplace website as it wishes.The headless approach also came in handy for one of the project’s highlights: Bash’s native mobile app, the #1 fashion app in South Africa, developed by a specialized agency alongside TFG’s developers.

The main challenge was that TFG wanted their customers to always be logged in, which wasn’t possible due to VTEX’s native data protection protocols, which have a 24-hour login limit. VTEX’s Identity team was able to meet that demand by creating an API that refreshes cookies automatically without requiring the user to log in again. To accomplish it in the shortest time possible, the team used checkout as a web view embedded in the native app.

Adaptation is key

TFG had other special requirements that needed close attention. VTEX’s flexibility was key in adapting to both regional and company needs, such as:

  • Promotions module. VTEX had to adjust its promotion data architecture and catalog data to better receive data from TFG’s promotions system.

    To do that, the VTEX team mapped the categorization fields and stretched them accordingly to apply the promotions to the correct products. This solution allowed TFG to organize all the different strategies from the 18 brands migrated to
  • TFG Account Card. TFG is a VISA acquirer, which means that, beyond being traditional retailers, the group represents a financial institution that processes online transactions. This means the card information must reach TFG’s system to be processed. 

    So the VTEX team reshaped the Gift Card protocol. The protocol gives the customer only one field to fill in, usually the gift card number. At Bash, they needed three fields: the card number, the security code, and the expiration date. 

    The fields are separated on the frontend as three, but in VTEX’s backend, all the fields are in the same line, separated by tabs. This data returns to the TFG payment system, where it’s split and validated.
  • Special login requirements. This last solution is an adaptation to a regional particularity, and it was a great learning experience for the VTEX team in its first project on the African continent.

    In South Africa, most people prefer to use their mobile numbers instead of email addresses to shop online. Although VTEX’s primary database key is email, VTEX used a headless approach to integrate TFG’s identity provider to our database, so when customers log in with their mobile numbers in the frontend, this information is translated on the backend to match their customer profiles on the database. This out-of-the-box solution provides a safe way to transfer data without having to write a new login system.


In just four months, TFG launched a unified, headless marketplace (Bash), becoming the first traditional brick-and-mortar retailer in South Africa to create an online shopping platform of this kind. 

Below are some results gathered so far:

  • 47% of orders are paid with the TFG Account Card.
  • 73% increase in multi-brand orders since the platform’s launch
  • App sales surged to over 35% of total online sales within the first two months following migration.
  • App’s conversion rate exceeds mobile web by ±200% and desktop by over 80%.
  • Solidified the number one fashion and lifestyle e-tailer position in South Africa, based on traffic (app and web). An increase in page load speed by 33% after the first four months of the migration.

“Through every step of the digital transformation process, the Foschini Group’s goal has been to deliver a consistently exceptional experience to our customers, whether it is creating an exciting mobile experience for shoppers or ensuring our last-mile fulfillment promises are met.”

— Luke Jedeikin, co-founder of Bash

All of this was made possible due to VTEX’s partnership with AWS cloud-native servers, which provides an extremely scalable, highly reliable platform that enables customers to deploy applications and data quickly and securely.

*All information and numbers seen in the above text were provided and approved by TFG.

Solutions used

  • OMS
  • Marketplace