JOHANNESBURG – Richard Brasher, the chief executive of Pick n Pay, on Thursday opened the refurbished On Nicol store, in Johannesburg, strengthening the retailer’s Next Generation store concept as aims to attract more affluent consumers as retailers fight for market share intensifies.
"The extensive upgrade at On Nicol strengthens the retailer’s Next Generation store concept with a strong emphasis on fresh food and convenience to create a unique food solution for customers under one roof, " it said in a statement.
Its rival Shoprite has also introduced new FreshX concept stores to attract more affluent consumers as retailers compete with Woolworths.
Three-quarters of the supermarket estate -123 stores- were now in the New Generation format, according to Pick n Pay in its results for the 53 weeks to
The “Next Generation” stores are world-class supermarkets that reflect the real progress the group had made have made across the business over the last few years – bringing together improvements in store design, space allocation, product range, store operations, labour efficiency, technology and customer service. "
Pick n Pay said in a statement on Thursday, "The refurbished store has an exciting array of new offerings with the very best in retail concepts developed in South Africa and from around the world. Customers can expect an enhanced fresh food experience, a huge focus on product quality, a much-improved range, innovative third-party services and refreshed customer service."
It said the store carried a wider variety of handpicked products and offerings to create a "one-stop shopping experience for customers".
This included making it easier for customers to make healthier choices, with LiveWell labels to its new own brand range. "At a glance, customers can easily identify the products’ health benefits and know exactly what they’re putting in their shopping baskets and whether it fits their eating plan."
New speciality areas had been added to include a freshly squeezed juice offering, a chocolatier, and a dedicated coffee station with a signature Organic Coffee blend.
It said for wine lovers, a new wine cellar featured a tasting table to sample local wines, with a wine adviser on hand. "Beer enthusiasts can get freshly poured draught craft beer from the liquor store’s new Growler bar to enjoy at home," it said.
It also offered a new Wellness Zone with a PnP pharmacy and offer a full range of clinic services from the MyLife Healthcare Centre.
Of note he revamped Pick n Pay On Nicol store also features a dedicated plastic and packaging-free fresh produce zone: The store had extended its Nude Wall offering to include 12 new seasonal loose PnP fruit and vegetables. This brings the total nude offering to 24 products. "Free paper bags are provided for customers. Alternatively, customers can purchase a PnP reusable netted fresh-produce bags (R7) or bring their own clear and sealable container."
"It has a chocolatier station with local artisanal handcrafted chocolate: This is a new feature and a first for Pick n Pay. The retailer has partnered with local, bean-to-bar chocolatier, CocoaFair, to showcase and sell their world-class chocolates that are produced using beans sourced directly from farmers and hand packaged by communities. Their range includes chocolate bars and chocolate coated nuts to exquisite pralines and dark cocoa truffles."
It also featuresa A new customised wine cellar with more than800 wines including nearly 100 new wines, a range of sulphur-free organic wines, limited artisan wine ranges made by independent winemakers and wines exclusively made for Pick n Pay by L’Avenir, Le Bonheur and Kaapzicht wineries from Stellenbosch.
The latest Accenture report , Rethinking the eCommerce Opportunity in South Africa Accenture, released this week suggested that traditional retailers in South Africa were putting most of their efforts into their core brick-and-mortar stores as they found online operations expensive to maintain and often unprofitable.
"They are also finding it difficult to measure the return on investment of their online offerings. Brick-and-mortar stores generate almost all the retail revenues and profits."
According to a Visa survey, 63 percent of South Africans said they preferred to make purchases at a mall, and Urban Studies found that 76 percent of South Africans visit a mall at least once a week. South African retailers are, therefore, taking a narrow approach to building eCommerce businesses. "They are not investing in creating the full range of convenient and engaging online experiences that consumers are coming to expect and that pure-play eCommerce companies provide," it found.
However, Accenture said this trend would change over time.
More than two thirds of the 58 million people in South Africa were active online users and heavily reliant on their smartphones. This puts penetration far above the level of India, and almost as high as China.
“Accenture projects that South African consumers will sharply increase their online shopping in the near future,” said John Watling, the managing adirector for Accenture Retail in Africa. According to research by Euromonitor International, online sales in South Africa will grow by 19percent, which is almost three times as fast as in-store sales in the period 2018 to 2023.