Mr Price has launched its first container store model with the aim of acquiring access to the thriving township economy and simultaneously bringing this well-loved retailer, closer to home for many shoppers.
The micro store was launched in Illovo in Kwazulu-Natal and is similar to the Shoprite Usave container shops which were launched a few years ago. Pick n Pay has also led a collaborative partnership with independent township grocers to convert spaza shops into successful convenience stores.
Matthew Warriner, Mr Price’s head of investor relations and corporate communications, told Business Insider SA, “This one-stop store test is to provide customers with a convenient shopping option, saving them from the time and cost of travelling to shop at Mr Price.”
He also indicated that customers have been asking for Mr Price to become more accessible and that the response and support from the local community has blown them away.
The store stocks a combination of merchandise that caters for men, women and children, and the fashion selection available aligns to stores of similar size.
Warriner went on to state that the space for the innovative neighbourhood convenience store is leased from a private individual, who is in fact the owner of the land. The store’s employees hail from the local community.
The publication also reported that Alec Abrahams, equity analyst at Sasfin Wealth, has indicated that online shopping is indeed having a more pronounced impact on the retail industry and that retailers would be compelled to rethink real estate strategies. He thus welcomed Mr Price’s new venture.
The uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many consumers preferring not to go to large malls and finding alternatives. This neighbourhood convenience format has effectively managed to bridge the gap by reducing the need to travel, creating jobs and allowing consumers to shop close to home.