SOUTH AFRICA – Checkers Food Services (CFS), the wholesale supply arm of Shoprite Group, has rebranded to Red Star Wholesale Catering Services and expanded its delivery network to include KwaZulu-Natal.

“Red Star” refers to a grading scale well-known within the hospitality and catering industry. Shoprite said the new brand name speaks to the Shoprite Group’s commitment to providing a world-class service and product range at wholesale prices.

In the new rebrand, the wholesale arm has a new logo that resembles a cloche, commonly used in the hotel trade, while the corkscrew and cutlery icons are an homage to the range of products offered by Red Star Wholesale.

With an extended range of more than 8,000 products and a new e-commerce ordering platform, Red Star Wholesale services thousands of hospitality and catering businesses.

Products available for order include fresh fruit & vegetables, cleaning & packaging materials, quality butchery meat, frozen foods, groceries, beverages including liquor and wine as well as chilled perishables with over 400 cheeses.

There is also an exclusive CaterClassic range of more than 100 products, including meat, condiments, tinned food, dried fruit, and nuts.

Red Star Wholesale noted that its customers can also apply for a Business Buying Card that entitles them to 2.5% off all purchases at any Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper supermarkets, as well as LiquorShop and House & Home stores. Payment is 30 days from the statement with no interest or admin fees.

It provides free delivery on orders over R1,000 and delivers six days a week, Monday to Saturday, using fully refrigerated, temperature-controlled vehicles.

The rebrand comes along with the expansion of services beyond Gauteng and the Western Cape to the KwaZulu-Natal region.

In the new region, the company, through its new distribution center in Pinetown, will offer delivery to the Amanzimtoti, Ballito, Bluff, Chatsworth, Durban CBD, Durban North, Hillcrest, Pinetown, and Umhlanga areas.

“Products are of good quality, and the products are delivered in very good condition,” said Adrienne Mowat of The Green Room, a restaurant in Kommetjie in the Western Cape.

According to figures released by Statistics South Africa, retail sales in the country fell 0.8% year on year in January after falling by a revised 0.5% in December. On a month-on-month basis, sales increased by 1.5%.

The agency added that sales in the three months to the end of January were down 0.2% compared with the same period last year.

Price Water Copers South Africa explains that South Africa-based businesses in the consumer and retail markets are facing a myriad of challenges, including slowing local economies, resultant pressure on their bottom line and customers, new global competitors, and a changing political and regulatory environment.

In addition, consumers are now in a position of power – being able to access the global marketplace through their mobile devices to research, shop and pay for products.

 The emergence of social media has significantly changed how retailers communicate and engage with consumers and has shown the power of consumers to influence the brand of a retail and consumer company positively or negatively.

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