Metro opens new PMB store

2008-10-27 00:00

A business that closed its doors in Pietermaritzburg’s CBD more than two years ago has reinvested in the area by opening a new store in Edendale.

Metro Cash & Carry has opened a 3 616 m2 store in order to capitalise on the buoyant local small traders market.

The company closed its old store in July 2006, after 31 years of trading in the CBD, citing “operational reasons” for the decision.

“One of the main reasons was congestion in the CBD … and we decided not to renew our lease on the premises,” said marketing executive at Metro Cash & Carry, Deon Botha.

He told The Witness that although they encouraged their client base to buy goods at Metro’s Greytown and Estcourt branches, they later acknowledged the need to re-open a store in Pietermaritzburg.

Remarkably, Metro took only three months to set up the new store, which employs 25 people, under the leadership of store manager Ralph Johannson.

Metro placed its merchandise in the store in only three-and-a-half weeks — a group record.

“This is a very important market for us. The market consists mainly of black traders between the LSM [Living Standard Measure] bands of two and eight.”

Botha said the strategic location of the store enables Metro to trade in close proximity to its client base.

“Transport is an issue for our clientele.”

The store holds about R6 million’s worth of stock at any given point, said Botha.

They offer three “banner groups” or branding options to traders. These banner groups are Square Deal, Lucky 7 and Pop In. Traders who opt for these trading brands receive various incentives.

Metro also launched its new pledge, centred on service, pricing and stock availability.

The group owns 78 stores in its Southern Division alone, including 19 in KZN.

kavith@witness.co.za

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