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Makro to test small-format stores in malls

| Store Openings

By: Jan Vermeulen - MyBroadband

Massmart will soon test small-format Makro stores at four existing Game sites inside malls.

Group corporate affairs head Brian Leroni told MyBroadband that they do not intend for these to be Makro stores within Game stores.

“They will be situated in the Game store site but the stores will be merchandised and branded as a small concept 3,000-square-meter Makro store,” he explained.

Leroni said that the challenge in developing a new concept store is finding suitable retail space in popular shopping malls.

“To overcome this, we have decided to test the concept in existing Game store sites,” he said.

Makro did not reveal where it planned to launch the pilot, saying the locations would be announced later.

Asked whether customers would need a Makro card to shop at these stores, Leroni said that this is something they were working on.

“There are various options regarding the Makro card, which we will launch at a later date,” he said.

Regarding what it means for Game should the pilot be successful, Leroni acknowledged that their announcement could result in speculation about the brand’s future.

“We would like to emphasise that our objective is to make Makro stores more accessible to a wider market through a small, mall-based Makro store concept,” said Leroni.

“The objective is not to convert Game stores. We also do not anticipate job losses as a result of this project; it is more likely to create new career opportunities.”

Leroni said the concept’s development was at an advanced stage and has been tested with various focus groups.

“We have been delighted by strong expressions of support from landlords, suppliers, consumers and our own staff,” he said.

“We are now involved in the practicality of rolling out the test stores and anticipate completion early in [the second half of the year].”

Leroni said the initiative represents an important aspect of their Makro-led omnichannel strategy.

This involves increased investment in Massmart’s e-commerce platform and growing their Makro store footprint.

“We have therefore developed a cost-effective small store design that is intended to be easy to roll out at speed,” said Leroni.

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