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Supercharging spaza shops

Solly Legae. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

It was a momentous day for Solly Legae when the doors of his store in Johannesburg’s Diepkloof township reopened for business in February. Once a humble spaza shop, Solly’s Monageng Market had been transformed into a modern community convenience store.

By Stafford Thomas | BDLive

"It looks fantastic. We now have an open-plan store with aisles and shelves. Before we just had a counter in the front of the store."

Transformation of his small 100m² store, opened by his father in 1972, is thanks to an initiative by the Gauteng department of economic development (GDED), backed by Pick n Pay. The first in a pilot project, Legae’s store has been joined by one other with a further three to follow by year-end.

The pilot was born out of discussions held between GDED minister Lebogang Maile, and retailers, says GDED chief information officer Bongani Nkosi.

Pick n Pay took up the challenge. "We wanted to pursue the idea that a big national retailer can work with a small retailer to build entrepreneurship and local communities," says David North, Pick n Pay’s head of group strategy & corporate affairs.

Legae has only praise for its assistance. "I have gained a huge amount of management and merchandising expertise from Pick n Pay," he says.

The retailer has a few other spaza shop conversions planned. "Our IT division is closely involved in equipping stores with modern systems," says North. "We also work with suppliers to have refrigeration equipment installed."

Read more | Original article 

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