Southern Africa’s retail potential still largely untapped, says Pick n Pay

South African supermarket group Pick n Pay announced today the opening of its second store in Zambia, which will extend its footprint in the rest of Africa even further.

The retailer opened its first Zambian store in Lusaka in July last year. The new Ndola store, situated in Zambia’s Copperbelt region is the second of seven outlets planned for the country over the next four years.

Pick n Pay invested over US$3.5 million into the Ndola store, which includes stock provision upon opening. The Ndola store is roughly 800m² bigger than the first store and will boast Zambia’s first Pick n Pay clothing range.

Commenting on the new store, Dallas Langman, Pick n Pay head of group enterprises, said: “The southern African region represents an increasingly attractive market for us. As disposable incomes continue to grow, the region’s retail potential remains largely untapped and there is considerable opportunity for foreign investors who are willing to enter into constructive partnerships with local communities and government agencies.”

“The incredible success of our first store in Lusaka and the enthusiasm with which it has been welcomed by our customers, has exceeded our expectations and has fully vindicated our decision to have four stores in this country by the beginning of next year,” Langman said. He added that the opening of the Ndola store is not only an act of commercial expansion but also an expression of confidence in Zambia’s economic future.

Pick n Pay has made a commitment to the Zambian government that 50% of its turnover would come from local suppliers. “We have exceeded this expectation, with 65% of turnover currently derived from Zambian suppliers,” Langman said.

Pick n Pay has a total of 230 local suppliers in Zambia which include agencies which supply imported products to the company’s stores. Out of the total number of suppliers, 131 are local manufacturers. The company has a total of 10,100 grocery lines listed in its Zambian stores, of which 6,700 products are derived from local suppliers. The range includes canned vegetable products, coffee, legumes, an organic range of sauces as well as processed meats.

Said Langman: “One of the most gratifying features of our establishment in Zambia has been the extent to which we have been able to source much of our produce from local suppliers, particularly small scale farmers who have proved themselves more than capable of providing foodstuffs at a price and of a quality demanded by Pick n Pay’s customers.”

Pick n Pay’s Fresh Produce division is currently developing local growers with the view of not only supplying Pick n Pay stores but for possible export to surrounding countries such as Zimbabwe and Botswana.