Mr Price, the company that’s made a name for itself by selling decent-looking clothes at a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay at one of those fancy brand stores, is expanding… by shrinking. Don’t panic, the business itself isn’t downsizing just the size of some of its newer stores. To get closer to customers in rural areas and townships, Mr Price is establishing stores inside shipping containers, which is a genuinely cool idea.
The new Mr Price stores are adorably compact but will offer customers the essentials you’d expect to find in a fully-fledged shop; They’ll come stocked with clothing for men, women and children and include accessories and even shoes. Mr Price’s head of investor relations Matthew Warriner has said that the establishment of the container stores is to provide a wider range of fashion options to isolated communities that may not have easy access to clothing stores.
Speaking to Business Insider, Warriner said “Our customers have been asking us to become even more accessible… and this one-store test is to provide customers with a convenient shopping option, saving them from the time and cost of travelling to shop at Mr Price.”
Mr Price can’t container its excitement
Part of this venture was due to information gained from the COVID-19 pandemic and South Africa’s lockdown. Apparently consumers are more likely to shop at smaller, local stores rather than travelling to densely packed shopping centres. It’s weird that people have only now started disliking malls but we guess we’re just big ol’ nerds who hate people.
The first of these container stores has already opened in Illovo, Kwa-Zulu Natal with a wider national rollout expected in a few months if the response from consumers is positive enough.
“The response and support from the local community has blown us away, we are really pleased with the results to date, albeit very early in the (testing phase),” Warriner said. All employees have been recruited from the local community and Mr Price rents the space from a private individual who owns the land,” he added.
It’s a really cool idea, one clearly inspired by Shoprite’s push to open several container stores of its own in recent years. Whether there’s a continued demand for more Mr Price container stores remains to be seen but we doubt it’ll struggle to find local interest.
(Source: Business Insider)