Cape Townâ€™s Theatre Of Food
Apr 12th 2012, 07:29
Food Loverâ€™s Market in Main Road Tokai, Cape Town, sets a benchmark for fresh produce retail and retail as a whole in South Africa.
This roll-out store, modelled on the Whole Foods retail chain in the United States, offers consumers a brand new shopping experience as a Theatre Of Food retail destination, allowing customers to complete their entire shop in-store.
The two biggest departments (fresh produce and butchery), carry approximately R1 million each, in stock per week.
Easy access location
Set along the busy, commercial Main Road in the growing suburb of Tokai in Cape Town, this store trades in a retail space spanning 2400 m², approximately. Itâ€™s easy access location accommodates 350 dedicated parking bays.
It has replaced the former Fruit & Veg City, which operated in Tokai for 10 years and brought with it a loyal following of 7000 customers per week.
Store layout and design
The store sees large volumes of foot traffic daily, servicing several thousand customers a week.
To improve traffic flow, the storeâ€™s entrance and exit are separated. Shoppers enter the store on the far left at the fresh food counter, indicating that it is first and foremost a fresh produce store, and exit at the check-out points at the other end.
Apart from easing traffic flow, this design has been successful in other Food Loverâ€™s Market stores, taking shoppers on a â€śguided journeyâ€ť through its grocery and food departments. The use of wider aisles in-store also makes shopping experience more enjoyable for customers.
The store-within-a-store theme is implemented in such a way that one does not feel lost in the expansive retail space, whether one is at the butchery, deli, or sandwich bar.
Here each department has its own character and ambience, taking on an almost old-fashioned market atmosphere. Traditional elements like wood, glass and marble have been used to bring this store-within-a-store theme to life.
The store offers a wide variety of branded consumer goods in conventional categories, including General Foods, Pet Care and Home Care. It has approximately 3000 SKUs on its grocery lines, excluding its in-store production.
Apart from its traditional categories, Food Loverâ€™s Market Tokai offers counters not commonly seen in mainstream food retail, such as testing stations and novel fresh food points.
Of particular interest is its Olive Tap testing station, an olive oil on-tap bar, where consumers can taste a selection of flavoured olive oils before making a purchase. Once theyâ€™ve made a selection, a store employee dispenses the oil into an unmarked glass bottle, which they check-out with the rest of their groceries. The Olive Tap is part of the retailerâ€™s core focus areas, which is to provide shoppers with fresh food and produce, and to offer them a better experience than anywhere else.
Other tasting stations around the store, at various food stations, allow shoppers to experience the new artisan breads, sweet treats or cheeses on offer.
Opportunities for suppliers, both big and small
The tasting stations present new opportunities for FMCG brands. Here, brands can have agreements to be the dominant supplier for a particular station. For example, branded olive oil supplier, Willow Creek is one of the olive oil suppliers for the storeâ€™s Olive Tap station.
This would reduce many supply chain costs and barriers. For example, Instead of supplying products in individually labelled bottles, they could supply a product in a large container for the particular testing station.
The Freshers and Food Loverâ€™s Signature are the two private label brands on-shelf. Freshers, being the quality value brand and Food Loverâ€™s Signature, the premium in-house brand.
Both private labels cover essential grocery items consumers need for daily convenience shopping.
The retailer anticipates that its Freshers private label will dominate 40%/ 50% of shelf space in this store in time to come.
The percentage split between branded products and the Freshers private label differs according to the space allocated for groceries in each Food Loverâ€™s Market store. In smaller stores there can be an 80/ 20% split in favour of the Freshers private label.
However, larger stores will hold a larger selection of national brands, showing the retailers aggressive stance in competing for a sizeable market share in South Africaâ€™s food retail sector.
Store replenishment and supply chain strategies
In keeping with its core focus area to provide shoppers with fresh food and produce, the retailer needs to implement efficient store replenishment and supply management strategies for all stores.
It is working to expand its distribution network through state-of-the-art distribution centres in key areas. The retailer is in the process of building a centre in Cape Town and has recently purchased a building in Gauteng. These two centres will ensure improved supply and service to all its South African stores and new stores forming part of its African expansion.
To sum up
The Food Loverâ€™s Market retail format is unique to South Africa and sets a precedent for fresh produce retail and South African retail in general.
With 12 stores planned to open locally and seven in other African countries this year, alone, there is no doubt that the retailer is looking for a sizeable market share in South African food retail.
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