OK Zim targets 12 outlets yearly in refurb programme

The Herald

Michael Tome  Business Reporter

OK Zimbabwe Limited last week reopened the renovated Bon Marche branch in Mount Pleasant following a facelift undertaken as part of the group’s drive to spruce up some of its timeworn infrastructure and offer value and better service to clients.

The retail giant spent a total of US$1,5 million on the refurbishment of the Mount Pleasant property, which now has a complement of a pharmacy and an expanded range of products to suit customers’ daily needs.

The branch, which is in the heart of Mount Pleasant residential areas, serves residents in the vicinity and a significant number of students from the University of Zimbabwe.

According to Mr Maxen Karombo, the OK Zimbabwe group chief executive officer, the group has set a target of renovating at least 12 branches per year across the country which have been dilapidated over time.

Countrywide, the group operates 50 OK stores, seven OK Mart Mega Stores, and eight Bon Marche stores.

Bon Marche is the group’s up-market brand located in selected suburbs.

Speaking at the pre-launch event Mr Karombo said the refurbishment drive was part of the group’s growth strategy to neaten the shopping environment for customers in line with modern architectural trends.

He said it was also to make business tangible for its clientele, suppliers, shareholders, and communities the group operates.

“We have heard the cries about the state of our facilities, so we are on a programme that we have embarked on just to freshen up the way we look and offer an amazing shopping experience when they come through to our shops. 

“The business is fully committed to making sure that customers continue to get value when they choose Bon Marche Mount Pleasant for their shopping.

“Our target is to do up to 12 stores a year across the country, literally we try to roll out a shop a month if we can, but from August there we will be trying to renovate and build more new shops,” said Mr Karombo.

OK Zimbabwe is one of the first retailers to introduce a pharmacy in-store in the country, in recognition of the need to create health consciousness and wellness for its customers.

Mr Karombo said OK Zimbabwe limited would be extending its OK Mart footprint to new spaces with an immediate focus on opening a new branch in Chivhu in early 2023.

“We try to roll out a shop a month if we can but coming from August we will be trying to renovate and build new shops across the country, we will be investing in areas that we have never been before, in January we are opening a new OK Mart in Chivhu, ‘’ he added.

OK Zimbabwe Limited has maintained its position as one of the dominant supermarket retailers in the country’s competitive retail sector, despite the effect of liquidity constraints and low disposable incomes.

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