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FRESHSTOP CONVENIENCE STORES OUTPERFORM SA FUEL FORECOURT RETAILERS

NACSInsight2013 has been a great year for FreshStop, the fastest growing convenience retail brand in South Africa.  The convenience retail franchise network, owned by Fruit & Veg City, has recently been awarded the International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award 2013, opened its 150th retail store, the 50th in the last year alone, and its stores currently outperform all other fuel forecourt convenience retail brands in turnover.

According to Brian Coppin, CEO of Fruit & Veg City, “Our achievements are a reflection of our team and Fruitvegcityfreshstopour franchisees. They are extremely dedicated retailers who have put their hearts and souls into making their businesses a success”.  But there is more to FreshStop at Caltex’s success.  “We have spent a lot of time researching the market extensively, trialling new products and services and taking note of what our customers want. We also work closely with our Franchisees Forum to get input on what’s working, where improvements can be made and listen to the feedback they’re receiving from their local clients. We are passionate about innovation and being the best in this industry,” says Coppin.

freshstop@Caltex2Their focus on innovation is one of the key reasons FreshStop was awarded the NACS International Convenience Retailer of the Year 2013 Award  in September this year for their flagship store, FreshStop Airport City, Launched in November 2012, Airport City was a new-to-industry site that initiated a new approach to convenience retailing.  In addition to the 150 sustainable jobs generated, a strong financial performance impressed the judging panel. In its first three months of trading, the FreshStop Airport City site attracted more than 160,000 customers and achieved sales of over R4m. Dan Munford, Managing Director of Insight says, “Caltex FreshStop stood out for exceeding its customers’ expectations and capitalising on the current market trends towards fresh foods convenience retailing. It really represents a global solution to convenience with a fresh offer in a good, clean and simple design that is easily replicable and it’s very well executed”.

And Airport City isn’t unique in its financial performance. “Our figures show that when a fuel forecourt store converts to the FreshStop brand, the franchisees experience growth of around 60% in sales in the first year after conversion, and after three freshstopNACSWinneryears, a compound growth of 25% in retail sales,” says Joe Boyle, Director of FreshStop.

For the six-month period to August 2013, the fuel forecourt retail industry in South Africa grew by -1%, whereas FreshStop’s growth was 22% in the same period. “Our growth and success rate has been amazing and we believe our retail formula and focus on innovation is what’s driving this success,” explains Boyle.

Coppin adds, “In recent years changing consumer lifestyles have led to the emergence of convenience stores as a shopping Freshstopkiwistrawberry1destination. With convenience stores open for longer hours, South Africans have found the forecourt retailer concept to be a safe and time-saving shopping experience. There is a growing demand for one-stop fuel and food purchases. What makes the convenience store model attractive to consumers is their 24-hour accessibility and a wide variety of ready-to-go products in a friendly retail space”.

The increase in convenience retail stores has also been a development opportunity for black businessmen and women in South Africa and FreshStop at Caltex has been working with and supporting the  DTI’s Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP) for the past three years.  The BBSDP is a cost-sharing grant offered to black-owned small enterprises to assist them to improve their competitiveness and sustainability. In so doing, they become a part of the mainstream economy and create employment. To date, 20% of FreshStop’s retailers have qualified for this grant and close to R6,5m has been paid out to them.

FreshStop’s 150th store, which opened its doors in Orlando West in Soweto on 28 November, is one such BBSDP grant store.  Owner George Nkosi has been operating the Zhut City site in Orlando West for the past 11 years and made the decision to upgrade and convert to the new FreshStop retail format.  With the assistance of the BBSDP grant, he has been able to uplift Freshstop@Caltexthe look of the site and provide a bigger and better selection of products and services to his local community. According to Teresa Booth-Oliveira, General Manager Products South Africa at Chevron, “From the very first FreshStop at Caltex store that opened in February 2009 in Cape Town, Caltex is proud to celebrate the 150th FreshStop at Caltex store and a national brand and presence that is providing all our Caltex retailers with yet another significant profit generator to supplement their fuels business”.

FreshStop at Caltex is a partnership between Fruit & Veg City and Chevron SA. Since 2009, they have worked together to create a world-class forecourt convenience format for the South African market, and the winning formula is set to continue. “We believe that great partnerships, innovation and agility are the key drivers to forecourt retailing success. We will continue to grow our world-class forecourt convenience format for the South African market and ensure compelling value offers for our customers and economic benefit for our best-in-class Caltex retailers”, adds Booth-Oliveira.

FreshStop, named International Convenience Retailer of the Year 2013, is South Africa’s fastest growing 24-hour convenience store brand and has a network of 150 stores countrywide.

On behalf of the All Fuels Team,

WELL DONE FRESHSTOP!

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