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South African independent retailers win big at international awards in USA

| Awards and achievements

Two independent South African retailers have won the prestigious title of International Retailer of the Year (South Africa) at the 2019 IGA International Retailers of the Year awards.

Supersave Food Town Hyper and Take n Pay Food Town Hyper – both members of Unitrade Management Services (UMS) - received their awards at a glittering event in San Diego, California, on 21-22 February 2019. 

The awards acknowledge retail excellence based on a selection of globally recognised criteria, including outstanding housekeeping, first-rate service levels, high standards of service departments, consistent pricing and – very importantly - community involvement.

Co-owners Abu Khatib and Suhail Bayat of Supersave Food Town Hyper and owner Ismail Salajee from Take n Pay Food Town Hyper have built their family-owned businesses to become first-rate community-based stores serving the needs of their unique communities. 

Through their UMS partnership, Supersave Food Town Hyper in Pietermaritzburg and Take n Pay Food Town Hyper in Chatsworth receive ongoing assistance to grow their businesses. UMS has over 400 independent retail and wholesale members that together form a powerful force in the market, enabling these entrepreneurial, family-owned businesses to flourish. “The partnership always results in the development of better business for all,” says Pereira. 

The criteria against which the stores are judged also consider how the store owner ensures that their store stands out from the competition, drives departmental sales, keeps shoppers coming back and solves specific problems they would face in their unique market. 

UMS is the exclusive partner for IGA in Africa, with the two organisations sharing a common vision to join hands with independent retailers, to build successful, sustainable businesses. IGA has a brand alliance with over 6 000 independent retailers in more than 30 countries around the world.

“We are incredibly proud of our two winners. They truly deserve this recognition for their commitment to retail excellence. They serve with humility and respect, while continuously looking for ways to improve their value proposition to their customers. They constantly invest back into their businesses and their communities and do not seek out praise or accolades. They epitomise our vision, and it is our privilege to be their trusted partner,” says Jad Pereira, CEO, UMS. 

UMS offers its members a number of brand options, depending on the store format, including Powertrade, Food Town, Best Buy, Price Rite and Power Build, which is the group’s hardware offering. UMS also has a private label offering, UNITY, which is sold exclusively through its member base.

The announcement of the 2019 IGA International Retailers of the Year awards saw nominees from all over the world come together to celebrate the vibrant world of independent retailing. “The UMS family salutes all the families represented at the awards for their hard work and commitment. Independent retailers are the heart and soul of our communities and UMS is proud to walk their journey with them every step of the way,” concludes Pereira.

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