Checkers caters for customers in the upper-income groups and targets living standards measurement 7 to 10. This chain of supermarkets provides a product range suitable for the discerning shopper in a world-class retail environment. Acquired in 1991, Checkers is the major brand after Shoprite. It operates stores throughout South Africa and in some neighbouring countries. It focuses strongly on fresh produce and offers a wide range of choice food and non-food items to a more affluent clientele.
Checkers has become a regular shopping destination for time-pressed consumers. It has strongly developed lifestyle departments such as for wine, cheese, meat, deli foods and coffee. The brand boasts two store formats namely supermarkets and large-format hyper stores.
After being managed and marketed under the Shoprite umbrella for 10 years, the Checkers brand was separated from Shoprite in 2001 as part of ongoing strategic planning to improve the company as well as the offer to consumers. The Checkers branches had become more viable and thus needed a more focused marketing strategy.
The Shoprite Group acquired the ailing Checkers chain of 170 supermarkets in 1991 primarily to grow its market share, and to spread the geographical distribution of its stores nationally. Up to that point, the Shoprite Group was a Cape-based chain of some 75 supermarkets.
Further motivation to take over Checkers was to save the chain financially, and to also save the jobs of its thousands of employees. To achieve this, the two brands were merged regardless of the fact that Shoprite catered for the broad middle to lower consumer market, while Checkers targeted the middle to upper income groups. Checkers stores were integrated with Shoprite strategically by keeping the brand name Checkers for those stores that were financially viable and that were located in the corresponding target market. Checkers stores, which were more suitable to the Shoprite profile in terms of their location and customer base were converted to Shoprite stores and the non-viable ones were closed down. Supermarkets:
There are currently 182 Checkers supermarkets with an emphasis on specialist departments such as the bakery, butchery, Cheese World, and delicatessen counter, Coffee Collection and Wine Route. Not to mention the Money Market Counter which offers customers the convenience of purchasing domestic air tickets, Computicket tickets, booking bus tickets, buying electricity, doing money transfers and much more. As well as MediRite pharmacies and Coffee Collection counters – offering takeaway coffees – in selected stores. Over the past year the focus on convenience has seen a strong increase in prepared food while the fruit and vegetable departments were expanded. Checkers Hyper:
The merger of the Checkers brand with the former Hyperama led to the creation of 30 Checkers Hyper stores.
Catering for the upper income groups, Checkers Hyper outlets boast an extensive range of products that range from a wide variety of fresh and frozen food, household items, clothing, indoor and outdoor furniture, to a big range of branded large appliances and audio-visual products. From a marketing and business perspective it made perfect sense to combine the management and marketing functions of these two renowned brands, as they essentially catered for the same market. The results are better customer service and an important benefit – lower prices. Located in areas with high population densities, the positioning of the large-format Checkers Hyper stores is very similar to that of the main Checkers brand.
State-of-the-art service departments offer discerning shoppers anything from an extensive range of imported cheese, cold meat, wholesome ready-made meals and homemade pastries and fresh fish.
Backed by leading-edge technology, Checkers Hypers offer consumers clean and hygienic stores, as well as a modern store layout to ensure fast and efficient service, contributing to a pleasant shopping experience. Service Departments:
Checkers in-house service departments include a bakery, deli, fish shop, wine section, Cheese World meat market and Money Market. Medirite pharmacies can also be found in selected Checkers stores. Consumer Centre:
The Consumer Centre at the entrance of our stores not only gives customers the opportunity to air their wishes and views, but also provides valuable information on a variety of topics through our consumer leaflets. Checkers Housebrand:
An economy brand, Checkers Housebrand offers consumers a guaranteed quality product, yet at an affordable price.