Checkers takes aim at Woolworths with new upmarket stores

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Retailer Checkers has launched a new state-of-the-art supermarket at Chartwell Corner in Dainfern, Gauteng, further growing its share of the premium grocery sector in South Africa.

More than 40 new jobs were created with this store opening, and Checkers FX Chartwell Corner has 103 employees, the group noted.

In November Checkers announced a  partnership with US coffee chain Starbucks which would see the coffee house and roastery chain launch outlets in select supermarkets.

The retailer said that the new store in North Joburg will offer several unique speciality services, including:

  • Fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts, delivered daily;
  • An in-store Starbucks;
  • An in-store Kauai serving salads, wraps and smoothies;
  • A sit-down sushi bar;
  • Freshly-made artisanal bread, pastries and cakes;
  • More than 400 local and international cheeses;
  • Wines from over 100 estates and authentic French champagne.

The Dainfern store is the latest addition to the Checkers’ FreshX brand, which takes on upmarket retailers including market leader, Woolworths.

Checkers introduced the FreshX concept stores to gain market share among more affluent South Africans, with the idea proving so popular that the group now plans to revamp at least a third of its Checkers stores in the medium term.

Unlike traditional Checkers stores, the FreshX concept stores feature more upmarket furniture and signage – including benches and tables for customers to test samples.

In its annual results published in September, Shoprite highlighted its recent success in the premium retail market – a segment typically dominated by Woolworths.

The group said that its strategy in South Africa of focusing on establishing a ‘fresh food theatre’ for its customer base continues to improve year on year.

“The success of the launch of the Xtra Savings Rewards Programme during the previous financial year in the Checkers chain has gained traction, and the 7.6 million Xtra Savings Rewards Programme customers as of 4 July 2021 contributed to the achievement of the record market share for the brands.”

Checkers, inclusive of Checkers Hyper, now operates from 268 stores in South Africa. Key to Shoprite’s push into the premium food retail segment is the new Checkers FreshX store format.

Over the past year, Shoprite said the number of stores in the Checkers FreshX format has increased to 41 from 28 stores in the prior year. The group is targeting 80 of these stores.

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