Store with moreOctober 28th, 2010 by H&R | Categories: beverages, food, products, social, technology, tourism, training
The official launch of new Pick n Pay on Nicol supermarket in Hurlingham, Johannesburg last night drew large crowds of retailers, suppliers, celebrities, chefs and restaurateurs. Despite the Highveld thunderstorm underway, industry was keen to see this flagship store that brings the best of international food and retail trends to South Africa.
Garth Shnier, executive chef at Sandton Sun; Arnold Tanzer, World Association of Chefs Association’s Africa director and chef/patron of Food on the Move; Jodi-Ann Pearton, chef/patron of the Food Design Agency and top competitions chef; plus highly respected restaurateur Gianni Mariano of Mastrantonio and the Chane des Rtisseurs were just four of the many industry leaders in attendance, keen to see what Pick n Pay had developed to wow the food industry.
The new store follows years of research into consumer trends and needs, plus innovative thinking by a dedicated team who travelled the world’s culinary capitals in search of the best lifestyle and food trends. The result is a contemporary culinary experience that captures the atmosphere of shopping for top quality fresh goods well presented; huge diversity of local and imported products on offer; presentation in new, innovative ways for a supermarket; and the latest trends reflected in the selection.
Peter Arnold, Pick n Pay’s general manager of fresh foods, explains: “At Pick n Pay our primary focus is the customer, and this store is geared toward elevating the customer experience to levels never experienced locally before. What we have created under one roof is unprecedented in South Africa. We have combined the value of a trusted supermarket brand with the exclusivity and variety of a boutique store that ultimately offers customers a truly unique shopping experience.”
The building itself represents a departure from traditional supermarkets, with many environmentally-friendly initiatives included in the design. It features double-volume glass windows for maximum natural light, plus exposed steel struts, glass and brickwork, and careful use of wood to provide a warm yet minimalistic feel.
The fresh food areas include the deli, juice bar, wine cellar, cheese room, bakery and dedicated fish market (only SASSI-approved seafood) and butchery. Each area is managed by an expert in their field who is on hand to assist customers on the shop floor.
Merchandising displays are more free-flowing and less structured than traditional stores, encouraging browsing and exploration to the shopping experience.
While Pick n Pay on Nicol carries the basic every-day brands for both household and personal care, the focus is on showcasing a selection of South African boutique suppliers and unique imports, as well as a vast range of green and organic products.
Strict health and safety standards are in place regarding all aspects of fresh produce plus full traceability. Smaller suppliers are being guided through the process of compliance with the help of 46 expert Pick n Pay food technologists to get their product to market.
The walk-in cheese room facilitates correct aging of cheeses and features over 40 imported French cheese brands. It holds a steady temperature of 11 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity. New local products are featured alongside favourites, such as Fairview and Simonsberg and the first locally produced Buffalo Mozzarella, as well as Padano-style cheese.
Artisan baker, Louis de Beer, has a trained staff of previously unemployed people into specialist bakers. Each unit of pastry chefs, confectioners, patisserie chefs and bakers has since been encouraged to form their own commercial entities, the services of which are then leased by the supermarket. He has also introduced a number of rustic artisan breads to the store, such as authentic German sour dough, rye, French baguette and Ciabatta.
The adjacent liquor department, which serves as a separate store, stocks a wide selection of wine, Champagne, single malt whisky, vodka, grappa and beer. Wine expert Peter Short, who has compiled wine lists for several top restaurants and luxury lodges, is available to assist customers in pairing the right wine with their menus. An active wine cellar will stock a large variety of new vintages, as well as a selection of collectables.
Pick n Pay is officially South Africa’s greenest retailer, and Pick n Pay on Nicol will signal a new era of green retailing, with a host of initiatives in place, not only to ensure the most environmentally sound operations, but to also assist customers in making informed decisions when it comes to lowering their own environmental impact.
Every aspect of the building and functionality has been considered with the environment in mind. Skylights and double-glass walls will diffuse natural light during the day; and the roof will harvest rainwater for the irrigation of the landscaping. Even the traffic lights at the intersection outside the store are solar-powered.
Solar panelling and timers have been installed to reduce energy required for geysers, as well as low-flow sanitary ware and electronic taps. The number of illuminated signs outside has been reduced, as well as the number of light boxes in-store; and only environmentally friendly paint was used. In addition, all timber was locally sourced, in line with the Forest Stewardship Council recommendations.
Recycling remains a priority for Pick n Pay, and Pick n Pay on Nicol is no different, with on-site recycling for waste from the store, coffee shop and cooking school; as well as in-store recycling bins for shoppers, facilitating the recycling of batteries, CFLs, ink cartridges and plastic bags and containers – should customers want to remove any plastic packaging before leaving the store.
As a partner of WWF South Africa in the Southern Africa Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI), Pick n Pay on Nicol will stock only fish varieties that are sustainably caught, and customers can look forward to a vast range of green products – both in food and household categories – as well as a significant range of organic products.
Furthermore, shoppers can choose from a whole host of eco-friendly bags, both the brown paper variety, as well as cloth designer bags.
Pick n Pay on Nicol also has a dedicated E-Services Zone, with a full range of offerings such as insurance and banking services, courier services, travel services and money transfer facilities among others.
The mezzanine level of the store features the Good Food Studio, a fully equipped venue that has a cooking school as well as wine tasting room. Various educational and entertainment events are on offer, including celebrity chefs demonstrating their skills.
Rounding off the experience is the Thyme on Nicol restaurant, which offers customers a choice of some of the foods available in store put together in a menu of various options, including sushi. Coffee is served by Vida E Cafe and WiFi is available.
Pick n Pay on Nicol has provided up to 250 jobs, 200 of which are new. Each staff member has undergone dedicated training on product knowledge and how to connect customers to the host of services on offer.
- 13 months of construction
- Cost of R160-million
- Complex comprises 750m2 of retail space, a dedicated Pick n Pay liquor store and a 950m2 cooking school
- Launched on 20 October 2010
- Large variety of resource-saving and recycling initiatives across entire development and surrounding areas, as well as environmental-friendly elements incorporated into the business model.