Store performance in South Africa
Our retailers are showing their resilience and remain upbeat about the prospects for retail going forward.
TOPS at SPAR has been a consistent winner when it comes to performance and growth for the past 16 years. In the past few years we have seen the benefits of a strong and differentiated brand with which consumers identify. TOPS achieved 13.0% sales growth bolstered by continued interest in the craft category.
We are satisfied with our progress in rolling out a further 15 SPAR Express stores in collaboration with Shell in the next financial year. We are eager to have 70 to 80 of these outlets by the end of 2020.
Pharmacy at SPAR also deserves recognition: 26 new stores were added to the portfolio and, backed by wholesaler S Buys, profitability increased significantly. The market is starting to recognise the convenient shopping experience offered by these additions to the SPAR precinct.
Build it had a great year with 7.5% sales growth. The passion of our management team and the Build it retailers continue to create momentum for the store format – which will roll out a new big store version in the next financial year. Our strategic loyalty projects and the piloting of some virtual services offered in SPAR stores, contributed to this success.
Our new business team is constantly engaging with landlords to source new and upcoming sites. We continue to engage with various financial institutions to assist us to fund new retailers.