Western Cape Business News

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RETAIL: Caltex, Fruit & Veg In New Venture


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Cape Town-based Chevron and retailer Fruit & Veg City announced a ten-year strategic alliance to rollout FRESHSTOP convenience stores across the national network of Caltex service stations.  Based on a successful pilot programme at four locations in Cape Town, the next-generation, stop-shop-and-go stores offer South African consumers and commuters an unmatched selection of fresh produce and ready-made meals.

Open 24/7, FRESHSTOP stores offers on-the-go consumers freshly-baked breads and pastries, a braai-friendly Deli & Meat section and an extensive fresh produce section with seasonal fruit and local vegetables supplied and stocked by the Fruit & Veg City distribution network.  Based on a strong emphasis on freshness – with 25-30 percent of floor space devoted to fresh produce – the store also features a variety of salads, smoothies and fresh dairy products.  For those with limited time, ‘The Pitstop Café’ serves crispy fried chicken, pizzas and a legendary breakfast bun (which despite its name, can be ordered anytime of the day). In addition, the FRESHSTOP coffee counter whips up quick cappuccinos, espressos or regular filter coffees day and night. For added convenience, a grocery section also stocks everyday essentials from cleaning products to canned goods and more.

Fruit & Veg City is proud to collaborate with Chevron and its extensive network of Caltex service stations to introduce this innovative convenience store format,” said Fruit & Veg City CEO Brian Coppin.  “Addressing South Africans’ growing demand for convenient, one-stop retail environments with fresh and healthy food alternatives is a huge opportunity for us, and we plan to maintain the best offering in this competitive retail category.”

Exclusively available to Caltex retailers as franchises, FRESHSTOP stores will be introduced in a phased approach, starting with the Western Cape, followed by Gauteng.  The conversion of existing Star Mart stores will take 10-15 working days and many of the elements of the Food Lover’s Market – Fruit & Veg City’s new retail concept store – will be incorporated into the layout, design and products on offer at the FRESHSTOP stores.

A strong differentiator for our service offering, FRESHSTOP offers time-conscious customers the opportunity to conveniently fill up on wholesome foods and snacks, as well as premium Caltex fuels,” commented Wayne Klahs, Chevron’s vice-president of marketing for Africa, Europe and Pakistan.  We expect the FRESHSTOP store concept to be positively received by our network of service stations and to act as a powerful platform that enhances our retailers’ value proposition for future growth.”

Based on face-to-face interviews with more than 400 customers between February 14 and May 20, 2009 at four FRESHSTOP stores across Cape Town, the results of the trial indicate a strong appetite for, and satisfaction with, the retail concept. Some of the findings indicate that:

-          98 percent consider FRESHSTOP an improvement on the previous convenience store on-site

-          96 percent see the FRESHSTOP store as a complement to the Caltex image

-          94 percent would be more likely to purchase from the store because of the FRESHSTOP store

-          82 percent indicated that FRESHSTOP would be their first choice among petrol service station convenience stores.

The alignment of the Caltex and FRESHSTOP brands on this strategic alliance is complemented by a strong cultural fit of our two companies that combines Chevron’s global perspective with the savvy, local focus of an entrepreneurial organisation like Fruit & Veg City,” added Klahs.  “We look forward to growing a mutually beneficial and profitable relationship in the years ahead.”

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