/ 22 September 2008

Pick n Pay dreams small

After conducting extensive consumer research and an examination of big retailers around the world, South African listed retailer Pick n Pay announced on Monday that it is to launch a new store format.

The company said its research showed that Pick n Pay’s core LSM 8 to 10 customers shop several times a week, and that the development of limited-offering and easy-to-shop-and-park stores in convenient locations would suit them best.

“The convenience-store format in South Africa is growing by approximately 14% annually, making it the fastest growth segment in the market, and we are poised to take advantage of that. International experience shows that small stores such as these can be a growth engine for our business,” said Pick n Pay CEO Nick Badminton.

The new convenience stores will be between 700 and 1 000 square metres each and carry about 6 500 product lines, compared with the standard-size supermarket, which typically stocks about 15 000 to 20 000 product lines.

Customers unanimously agreed that given the choice, they would prefer to shop at a small Pick n Pay store, and in exchange for this convenience, would accept a smaller range of products than what they would find in a full-sized supermarket, the group said.

So-called Pick n Pay Daily stores will be franchised, allowing for the group to expand black economic empowerment through enterprise development, as it has with franchised supermarkets.

The first convenience store will open in Fairland, Johannesburg, on September 23.

“Depending on consumer acceptance, the company foresees a rapid roll-out in the next three to five years,” the retailer said. — I-Net Bridge