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SA C-Store brand continues to outperform competition

With the mainstream retail sector still experiencing challenges, expansion in the forecourt convenience retail industry continues with store openings and sales figures growing consistently.

The forecourt convenience retail store market in SA is led by FreshStop at Caltex, the largest and fastest growing 24-hour convenience store retail brand, which has opened 255 stores nationwide, followed by Pick n Pay in association with BP, and Woolworths Foodstops at Engen.

According to a report by the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), the outlook for the South African fuel industry is looking strong with the sector as a whole contributing in excess of 6% to the country’s GDP and it supports employment of more than 100,000 people directly or indirectly.

Joe Boyle, Director at FreshStop, named International Convenience Retailer of the Year 2013 and finalist of the 2017 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award, says, “As a growth sector for entrepreneurs, fuel retail continues to pay dividends. Our stores’ year-on-year growth stands at 12% compared to the current industry norm of less than 1% and the growth figure jumps to 19% when new stores are included.

“We have invested more than R600m over the last eight years and we’ve seen this investment lead to the creation of approximately 2,500 direct jobs and reach an annual turnover of almost R2 billion in that period. Our focus has always been on convenience, innovation and quality fresh product and we will continue with this strategy.”

To celebrate this continued and unstinting focus,
FreshStop recently announced its Store of the Year awards. The categories were judged on a range of factors including sales growth, food quality and safety, as well as their offering of fresh fruit, vegetables and baked goods.

The stores that won awards are as follows:

1.

Retailer of the Year (Premier)

FreshStop Gonubie – Eastern Cape

2.

Retailer of the Year (Newcomers)

FreshStop Isipingo – KwaZulu-Natal

3.

Fruit & Veg Trader of the Year

FreshStop Gonubie – Eastern Cape

4.

Best Food Service Store

FreshStop Maluti - Inland

5.

Best Coffee Shop

FreshStop Linksfield - Inland

6.

FreshStop Brand Builder of the Year 2016

Clive Berlyn – Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer



Retailer of the Year – Premier (aka Veterans) category winner, FreshStop Gonubie, is located north of East London in the Eastern Cape and is a family run business. Gina and Adrian Muller converted to the FreshStop brand in February 2011. “For us as a family business it has always been important to provide the community with the ‘fresh’ in FreshStop; believing that the fruit and veg side of the business is a major point of difference for us versus the competition we face.

“Working with the local FVC Distribution Centre has enabled us to bring fruit and vegetables to the Gonubie community at unrivalled prices, much to the dismay of the competition nearby. Many members of the community walk out the door shaking their heads saying ‘I can’t believe I buy my fruit and veg at a garage shop’. The addition of a Seattle Coffee bar has also enabled us to cater to a broader spectrum of customers, from young to old,” says Gina Muller, Store Retailer at FreshStop Gonubie.

Joe Boyle, Director of FreshStop, says “We are extremely proud of all our retailers. Despite challenging economic times and the pressures experienced by all retailers, they have really stepped up and shown themselves to be absolute professionals. They continue to outperform their competitors and are passionate store owners who care deeply about their people, customers and community”.

As winners of the Newcomer category, FreshStop Isipingo in KwaZulu-Natal has fitted in perfectly with the brand’s values. With sheer determination, they opened their doors on 11 August 2016 and had to build trust and restore the site’s image after two years of no trading at that location. “We had to pull out all the stops with promotions, monthly market days, support of local charities, daily meetings with taxi stakeholders, intense training of staff as well as creating a productive and enjoyable work environment. Along with this, the introduction of a Crispy Chicken outlet and a well structured marketing campaign have led to the quick growth of Freshstop Isipingo and positively impacted its sales growth,” explains Denver Govender, Store Retailer at FreshStop Isipingo.

FreshStop, named International Convenience Retailer of the Year 2013 and finalist of the 2017 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award, is South Africa’s fastest growing 24-hour convenience store brand and has a network of 255 stores countrywide.


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