When Mandisa’s Market opened on 5 December in Soweto, not only did it fulfil a five-year-long dream for owner Mandisa Mzizi, but it also provided an inspirational example of how the retail sector can grow when it learns to listen to what consumers need.
The opening of the store is a result of a partnership with Pick n Pay and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED), who assisted Mzizi to realise her passion for providing a great retail solution to customers in Soweto, a cause close to her heart.
Mandisa’s Market is a new business created through the refurbishment of a former fast-food outlet.
With the help of some of its suppliers, Pick n Pay has worked with Mzizi on creating a shop which boasts new refrigeration and IT systems. The store will have up to 1 200 lines of edible and non-edible groceries, fresh produce and perishables.
In addition to having a liquor licence, Mandisa’s Market will offer a full Value Added Service range, including money transfer, ticketing, airtime and data, bill payments, lottery tickets and the sale of prepaid electricity. Customers will benefit from the fact that the store will be linked to the Pick n Pay Smart Shopper loyalty programme (voted South Africa’s favourite loyalty programme for four years in a row, with almost 11 million members). Shoppers will be able to earn and redeem Smart Shopper points at the store.
When Mandisa’s Market opened on 5 December in Soweto, not only did it fulfil a five-year-long dream for owner Mandisa Mzizi, but it also provided an inspirational example of how the retail sector can grow when
Mandisa’s Market in Soweto is one of several Spaza shop solutions that demonstrate the positive role that a large national retailer can play in townships, by working hand-in-hand with their owners. Earlier this year the first store in this pilot project opened in Diepkloof, since then Emabheleni store has re-opened and a further three revitalised spaza stores will be opened before the end of the year.
Mzizi's journey to owning her own spaza business in Soweto began while she was working for business giant Richard Maponya, and started engaging with shoppers in Soweto, many of whom were members of stokvels and burial societies. “They’d ask me when retailers (not cash-and-carry stores) would start understanding the way in which they saved, and saved to shop,” said Mzizi.
“They wanted to know why grocery stores didn’t understand their buying habits. I went to Pick n Pay Hyper, the main anchor tenant at Maponya Mall, and asked if we could devise a stokvels concept for them. They responded positively and a stokvel initiative was launched in February 2012 at Maponya Mall.”
“I wanted to take things further though and start my own business, applying what I’d learnt. Today that dream is being realised with the opening of Mandisa’s Market,” said Mzizi.
Mandisa’s will benefit from tailored business mentoring and advice from Pick n Pay franchisee and local entrepreneur Bonnie Sachane. Sachane owns the Pick n Pay family store in Protea Glen, Soweto, and is a successful entrepreneur in his own right. Sachane is supporting the spaza conversion stores.
Pick n Pay Deputy CE Richard van Rensburg said: “Mzizi has great business acumen and she really understands her customers. We’re delighted with this new store, the result of a workable public/private sector partnership on a micro scale between Pick n Pay and the GDED.”
“The neighbourhood convenience format is one of the fastest growing grocery retail formats worldwide and a spaza shop is essentially such a format. By bringing together our supply chain, buying and systems capability in partnership with a spaza owner’s intimate knowledge of the needs of customers in the neighbourhood, we are able to bring something special to customers – state of the art grocery retailing in an extremely convenient neighbourhood location.
“Importantly, we are helping neighbourhood customers access the goods they need close to home, which adds convenience by reducing the need to travel for their shopping.
“Today, Mandisa joins in becoming part of our community of independent business owners. These are all experienced entrepreneurs who will grow at the helm of their businesses benefitting from our buying, distribution systems, IT and marketing, while we benefit from their practical skills in neighbourhood convenience retailing.”
Leah Manenzhe, Acting CEO of Gauteng Enterprise Propeller, the funding agency for the Department of Economic Development in Gauteng, said: “The Gauteng Department of Economic Development in partnership with Pick n Pay continues to boost the township economy.”
“This is the practical implementation of Gauteng’s township economy revitalisation strategy which aims to radically change the structure of the Gauteng economy and unlock the potential of different sectors in order to revitalise and rebuild the productive capacity of the township economy,” said Manenzhe.
“The private sector has a significant role to play in sharing and transferring economic ownership and skills. This store is a result of a transformative partnership that we have established with Pick n Pay, a strategic partner who has agreed to take the risk together with government in tackling the incorporation of marginalised sectors into the mainstream, adds Manenzhe. “Together with GEP, The Provincial Government will continue to support initiatives that are aimed at capacitating our SMMEs, create space for the placement of township manufactured products in their stores and encourage meaningful participation in the economy.
“The partnership is indicative of the producer-driven value chain philosophy we have adopted which gives us the potential to build relationships and transfer skills between township entrepreneurs and established retailers and can only be growth-enhancing in the long run to township SMMEs,” says Manenzhe. “As the provincial government, we plan to open a total of 5 similar shops across the province through this partnership in the 2016/17 financial year. We call on all private sector industries to support this Township Economic revitalization programme.”
About Mandisa Mzizi
Mandisa Mzizi heads up her own consultancy, Arora Marketing, which provides shopping centre and event management to retail centres. Arora also provides marketing strategies for the MMI Group, as well as running stokvel bulk buying programmes for grocery retailers
Before opening Arora Marketing, Mzizi was the Marketing Manager at Maponya Mall between 2011 and 2015. Before that, she held various positions at Primedia and Mortimer Harvey Advertising Agency, as well as having her own consultancy for a few years.
She holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Cape Town, studied at the Red & Yellow School and received a diploma in Management in Marketing and Advertising Communications Management.
She also completed The Gordon Institute of Business Science Executive Programme for Management Development at the University of Pretoria.
Mzizi was educated at Roedean School for Girls in Johannesburg.