Checkers targets growing pet care market with more standalone pet stores in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Checkers, the first South African supermarket to launch a stand-alone pet shop, expects by the end of the year it will have opened 12 outlets under its Petshop Science banner, as it sets sights on the growing pet market.

The Shoprite-owned group cut ribbon to its flagship pet store in April this year and has already opened 10 Petshop Science stores in the last seven months, offering food and other pet products at supermarket prices.

According to reports by Business Insider, Checkers has revealed plans to open two more before the end of the year in Sunningdale, and Pinetown.

As part of the new branding, the retailer has also launched what it calls ‘the cheapest pet insurance product in South Africa’, pointing to the country’s booming pet economy especially among millennials.

“We saw a gap in the market when it came to pet care, and following the great customer response to the first Petshop Science, we’ve been hard at work rolling out more specialist pet shops.

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“Our aim has always been to bring customers everything their four-legged companions could want and need – at supermarket prices,” said Checkers chief operating officer Willem Hunlun.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the South African region is dominated by more than 200 brands of pet foods and companies like Hills have been supporting animal welfare organizations around the country through its sales team, comprising of vet nurses, and pushing for their nutritional care products.

Other major regions in Africa, which appear to hold scope for market growth, include Namibia, Morocco and Egypt among others.

Morocco with its rising number of pet shops and influence of western culture is a major market driving the growth of nutrition-based pet foods.

Meanwhile, growing economies of Namibia and Nigeria are expected to drive sales for Pet nutrition.

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Checkers ups speciality offering

In other related news, the Shoprite group has been aggressively rolling out standalone stores across various categories as it recently launched the smaller format Checkers Foods store, whose objective is to be positioned deeper into communities and closer to its customers.

The first Checkers Foods outlet opened at the Weltevreden Park Shopping Centre in Roodepoort, Gauteng, set across a sales area of 1,200m2.

Conveniently located and ideal for quick top-up shops, Checkers Foods offers a broad range of exclusive brands including Forage & Feast and Simple Truth, a wine cellar, Starbucks and a bakery with artisan breads.

It also features a butchery with free range chicken and restaurant-quality steak and an impulse island – with ready-to-eat options such as fresh sushi and sandwiches

Three more Checkers Foods outlets are scheduled to open in early 2022, in Westlake, Franschhoek (both in the Western Cape) and Ballito (in KwaZulu-Natal), the retailer confirmed.

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