The retail space has become innovative but also hugely competitive and adaptability has never been more important in this sector. There is a fine balance to be struck with operations in terms of supply chain, logistics, technology and customer service as the nation’s major players battle for market share.
At Masscash, price point is also an important differentiator for a business that targets the lower cost end of the market.
According to the company website, total sales for the 53 weeks ended December 2013 were R26,264.1 million.
The Masscash brand comprises of a number of entities, as the corporate website describes: “Masscash consists of a Wholesale Division with cash and carry food and cosmetics businesses, and Retail food outlets which target the lower LSM groups. Our Wholesale Division consists of CBW, Jumbo Cash and Carry, Trident and Shield whilst our Retail Division is consolidated under the Cambridge Food banner and the Rhino Group.
“CBW and Trident wholesale food, liquor, groceries and cosmetics in bulk to independent dealers, Government feeding schemes, franchise members, small traders and hawkers in peri-urban and rural areas within southern Africa. Jumbo sells mainly cosmetics, toiletries and hair-care products to individual customers and independent general dealers. Shield is a voluntary buying association that buys products in bulk on behalf of 431 members who own wholesale or retail businesses in South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland.
“Masscash offer wholesale customers with formal operations the ability to trade under national retail brands such as Saverite, Multisave, Powersave Liquorland and Club 10 Taverns. Our marketing team offers support to these supermarkets and bottle stores, assisting owners with marketing initiatives such as designing of leaflets, signage and implementing national television and radio advertising campaigns.
“On the retail side, outlets are consolidated under the Cambridge Food or Rhino brands. Cambridge Food’s mission is to help its customers save money every day so that they can live better. Food Retail service departments, consisting of an on-site bakery, butchery and fresh fruit and vegetable offering form an important component of our Cambridge Food retail offering.”
According to the website, Masscash currently has a presence in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland – and employs almost 10,500 people full-time.
In a previous issue of The SA-Mag, we were delighted to report on the company’s efforts to deliver environmental sustainability initiatives throughout the business. A big part of that drive was the use of local supply chain.
Last October, Massmart officially recognized its suppliers for industry-leading commitment to environmental sustainability.
In a statement, the company said:
“Massmart hosted an event in Rosebank, Johannesburg to honour local suppliers for their ongoing commitment, exceptional performance and implementation of environmentally-sustainable business practices.
“The initiative, set to become an annual event, is designed to promote responsible environmental practices in Massmart’s supply chain.
““We know that Massmart plays a connecting role between suppliers and customers,” says Massmart Group Sustainability Manager Alexander Haw. “Our supplier engagement programme enables us to share environmental good practice between different suppliers and allows us to benchmark their performance against that of their peers. We hope in this way to promote sustainable change.”
“Winners of the inaugural 2014 Massmart Environmental Awards were selected based on an environmental self-assessment survey, stakeholder input from leading environmental NGOs and site visits to verify their survey feedback. The finalists include:
- York Timbers
- Harlequin Paints
- Backsberg Estate Cellars
- Sea Harvest
“For, among other things, their contribution to wetland conservation, a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions since 2004 and deriving over 60 per cent of their operational energy requirements from renewables in their South African operations, Mondi South Africa was identified as the overall winner. Group Corporate Affairs Manager Lora Rossler says: “At Mondi, we recognise that we are operating in a world of constrained resources, facing environmental and social challenges which are global in scale and local in nature. We believe that addressing environmental sustainability makes good business sense, and we focus on minimising the impacts of Mondi’s operations on forests, climate and water; and encouraging sustainable practices in the industry. In South Africa our Rotatrim brand forms part of Mondi’s Green Range which consists of products with credible certification to indicate that they are produced using fibre sourced from responsibly managed forests or products which are totally chlorine-free paper or products which are made from 100 per cent recycled paper.”
“Congratulating the winners, Haw said each supplier had demonstrated leadership in the area of sustainable environmental management.
“Since 2009 Massmart has been surveying, on a self-assessment basis, the environmental practices of key suppliers. This process has enabled the company to profile the environmental practices of 494 suppliers, on up to 35 environmental indicators since 2011. Massmart’s surveys cover among other things: packaging rationalistation, water conservation, operational energy efficiency, environmental product attributes, third party certification and biodiversity impact mitigation. The company has also developed additional surveys that deal with sustainable seafood and timber sourcing.
““We believe opportunities exist to work closely with our suppliers to implement programmes that support more sustainable supply and consumerism,” concluded Haw.”
Whilst environmental initiatives are always welcomed, the bottom line for customers is all about availability, value and service. For Masscash, its value proposition remains a staple element to its ongoing success:
“All our stores apply the philosophy of supplying the right range of products at competitive prices to low- to middle-income wholesale customers. We keep costs down by employing a no-frills cash and carry warehouse format, coupled with basic distribution centres that supply our private label and important general merchandise ranges. Our private label food brands, Econo and Heritage, offer our customers exceptional value and the assurance of stringent quality and safety controls. Our retail stores are well located, close to high traffic commuter nodes, and offer the best quality at affordable prices,” the site asserts.