SOUTH AFRICA – In just one year the Shoprite Group has grown its Petshop Science brand to include 22 physical stores in South Africa, and now it has expanded the concept online with a dedicated e-commerce store.

The newly launched Petshop Science Online will offer a broad selection of more than 2,000 pet-related products. These include food, treats, toys, and more from premium brands like Hills, Montego, Dog’s Life, Eukanuba, Ultra Dog, Royal Canin, Rogz and Nandoe.

The move is designed to expand Shoprite Group’s online presence, and to capitalise on the growing pet economy.

With the pet sector in South Africa now worth over R7bn, the group continues to expand its pet-related offerings.

It launched pet insurance in 2020 and in 2021, the group became the first local retailer to open standalone Petshop Science stores.

“We’ve been working hard to deliver superior service, range, and value to local pet parents. With the launch of Petshop Science Online, we’re adding another way for South Africans to access all of this – but without leaving their homes,” says Mark Cotton, head of e-commerce at the Shoprite Group.

Petshop Science customers can now also create online profiles for their pets, which include their pet’s name, birth date, type and breed.

Customers can access these profiles in stores, and it enables PetShop Science to serve loyal shoppers with special offers tailored to their pets’ needs.

Pick n Pay launches in-house premium food brand

Meanwhile, Food retail giant Pick n Pay has announced the launch of its premium house brand, Crafted Collection, which it plans to stock at its newly revamped stores which serve its middle- to top-end customer base.

Crafted to deliver a unique foodie experience to customers, the range has elevated much-loved products into high premium.

Some of these include a Fynbos Flavoured Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Chai, a Smoky Tomato Ketchup and a wide range of Exotic Mushrooms, offering customers quality for less.

Indulgence is another strong focus of the range with its range of crafted chocolates, biscuits, shortbread and hot chocolate.

This is tapping into the ‘spoiling myself’ trend which has strongly emerged post-Covid. Customers are increasingly looking to treat themselves to food indulgence that doesn’t break the budget.

Pick n Pay’s CEO Pieter Boone announced earlier this year that, as part of the group’s new Ekuseni strategic plan, its supermarkets will be organised into two customer-facing brands, each designed around specific customer needs.

The Crafted Collection will be stocked at Pick n Pay stores that aim to satisfy the needs of middle to top-end customers who are looking for innovation and inspiration.

The new range forms part of the 18,000 products the stores will stock, which has a strong focus on innovation.

The move will see Pick n Pay competing with dominant up-market retailer Woolworths, which has historically enjoyed a comfortable lead in the premium foods category.

“We’ve spent a lot of time understanding customers in this space and have crafted this range to be sophisticated yet mainstream, at surprisingly good prices,” Pick n Pay head of product & technical Nick Russell says.

“The flavours aren’t too Chefy or unattainable. We haven’t gone for extremely niche flavours, but rather ‘mainstream premium’ that pushes the boundaries. We wanted our customers to relate to the flavours, and feel confident using them,” Russell adds.

According to Pick n Pay, 90% of the range will be locally sourced and produced by local suppliers, giving small businesses a leg-up in a tough economic environment which struggles to offer much growth.

“Our dedicated product team has worked closely with local businesses to craft and develop these products. We have sourced the finest local products and have only used imported products if they weren’t available locally,” Russell says.

The range also comes up against Checkers’s premium private label Forage and Feast, which the Shoprite-owned retailer launched in March 2021.

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