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All aboard the Xpress train to a Customer Xperience revolution


Edgars, a 90-year-old department store, had lost relevance. On the brink of collapse, they had to connect their brand to culture in South Africa, a country as diverse as they come. They spearheaded a successful rebrand with a cultural film featuring Sho Madjozi, which became an anthem for self-Xpression and earned them a 533% increase in brand sentiment.

But the real work was far from over. Their purpose statement was locked, but if it wasn’t adopted by their people, translated on the shop-floor, and felt by the customer, all would fall.


CXPRESS. A cultural transformation journey to usher in a deeply different Edgars. A radical shift from customer service (how old world!) to customer Xperience; emotive, engaging moments that resonate, fashioning connections with the vibrant, beautiful people of South Africa.

Launching to almost 200 Edgars leaders at a foot-stomping, flag-flying LeaderSHIFT, CXPRESS instilled desire and know-how to disseminate not only information but Xtraordinary blood-red life-force!

Using the almighty Culture Code, TPA worked with Edgars’ original story, purpose and values, to introduce unique CXPRESS rituals, artefacts and language. These would be adopted, enacted and embodied by leaders, making CXPRESS come alive in the hearts and hands of Edgars people.


Back at their sexy stores, LeaderSHIFT-flushed, leaders facilitated ConneXion sessions. ConneXions waterfalled unified messaging and meaning to teams, with sessions reaching over 16 000 people!

Toolkits were vibrant and leveraged gamification to clearly Xpress the Xs and NOs of a Customer Xperience journey. Posters, floor decals and gratitude rituals played vital roles in the integrated campaign, with art direction celebrating Edgars’ own people.

A golden thread was an exclusive, internal digital campaign. Across SA, Edgars people followed the journey, shared stories and celebrated dedicated Xpress moments through gestures, garnering thousands of engagements. Creative. Authentic. Xpressive.

Culture is caught, not taught

It’s not just about fashion, it’s about feeling. Culture is how Edgars people feel walking through their doors. It’s how they champion their customers. Culture is when they realise their job is to inspire others to Xpress themselves.

CXPRESS is about the customer, of course, but it relies on leaders to step up and hold the space. It requires bravery and dedication from followers who recognise a better future. Only with courage could Edgars liberate themselves and, in turn, create the environment for a transformative customer Xperience.

Halfway through the journey, on a otherwise ordinary morning, Edgars stores nationwide broke out into a dance unique to their spirit. Why did they dance? To Xpress themselves, to connect, to salute the Xpress moments and to demonstrate customer-first commitment. Dance anchored CXPRESS in a visible, memorable way. Was it fun? Yes. Did NPS spike on the day, translating an obvious and positive shift in brand sentiment? Also yes.


Xtra. Sentiment was high, engagement was climbing and the top 30 stores TPA engaged were streaming ahead in terms of NPS, a trend sure to be followed by the full chain. CXPRESS was a hyper-jump into the Customer Xperience revolution, activating a team of thousands to Xcite, Xpand and ignite Xpression!


The partnership of TPA and Edgars had every intention of being an enduring one. CXPRESS was to be launched to the full chain of Edgars in Wave 2 of the journey. Unfortunately, at this time of transition, Covid-19 hit and left the Edcon group in a desperate position.

Throughout our journey we had witness to the humility and heart of Edcon leaders, and the courage and solidarity of their people. We extend our never-ending appreciation and support.


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