Massmart, the owners of Game, Makro, Builder’s Warehouse and CBW, has revealed plans to pilot a standalone liquor store format.
The new liquor store format will be powered by Makro.
Massmart, which is owned by the world’s largest grocer, Walmart, revealed its plans for the standalone liquor store format in its latest integrated annual report.
“We are prioritising the merchandise categories of bulk food, liquor, general merchandise, and DIY and the customer segments in which we are market leaders,” the company said in the report.
“Our wholesale integration will be further enhanced by the unifying of IT systems and the enhancement of our e-commerce offering.
“We will also be piloting a standalone ‘Powered by Makro’ liquor store format.”
Currently, Massmart sells liquor through a store linked to all the Makro stores.
Asked to provide more information, a Massmart spokesperson told TechFinancials that retailers worldwide frequently test potential new formats.
“The standalone liquor store, in question, will be launched following extensive research into our current liquor proposition,” said the spokesperson.
“The idea is to learn as much as possible through the day-to-day operation of the store, with the aim towards refining the proposition and determining the best way forward.
“The process will also involve operating similar stores in other markets of interest.”
Massmart will be vying for the pockets of boozers already dominated by Spar Tops, Pick n Pay Liquor.
Impact of COVID-19
Massmart Wholesale had a solid performance in 2020 despite losing an estimated R3.4 billion in sales due to COVID-19 trading restrictions.
The impact of restrictions on liquor was particularly pronounced as there were only 17 weeks of trading without some form of restriction during 2020.
Under normal conditions, the sale of liquor makes up about 25% of Massmart Wholesale’s sales.
Massmart estimates sales losses relating to COVID-19 restrictions, which included extended restrictions on normal trading of liquor and tobacco products, to be about R6.1 billion when compared to 2019.