The “Meet the Maker” section aims to promote South African products, produced by small businesses. It will be trialled in stores across the country over three months.
The programme, launched last week, will be rolled out in eight stores nationally, including Pick * Pay Hypermarket in Durban North.
Pick * Pay director of transformation Suzanne Ackerman-Berman said that for years the retailer had integrated products from small suppliers on its shelves but more could be done to promote their products.
“We’ve wanted to take our support a step further,” group executive of hypermarkets Adrian Naude said.
“When in an aisle, a customer is faced with many options. We want to make it easier for customers to support local small business brands. This unique platform for our small suppliers will showcase their products, and tell customers about their business journey too.”
Naude said customers could read about each entrepreneur behind the showcased brands in a leaflet made available in-store.
“We want our customers to know that by buying one of these products, they are not just supporting small business, but helping to create employment and to uplift communities.”
One of the small businesses taking part is father-and-son duo Patrick and Emile Langeveldt from Greenworld Chemical Services and Supplies. Their business supplies Pick * Pay with its house brand firelighters.
“This will really stimulate awareness for small suppliers, as well as promote the idea that small suppliers can deliver quality products,” Patrick Langeveldt said.
He said the firm had started supplying Pick * Pay in 2010 when it joined the retailer’s Enterprise and Supplier (ESD) Development programme, and today the PnP Firelighter brand is the most-bought firelighter in-store.
Langeveldt founded the business in 1985, and employs eight people who produce and package the products.
It’s often difficult for small suppliers to meet the standards required by large retailers and this is why the supermarket chain established its ESD programme. It partnered with more than 100 small businesses last year and invested about R170million in supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses through mentorship and business development.
“Apart from giving small businesses access to the market, we need to ensure they remain long-term, sustainable suppliers,” Ackerman-Berman said.
“We hope this great new platform yields further success for these proudly South African small business owners and the people they employ.”