Retailer Game has announced its new future-ready concept store at the Mall of Africa in Midrand, Johannesburg.
The new store is part of Game’s overall turnaround strategy, after owner Massmart in July noted that 1,800 jobs at its Game stores were under threat, months after it closed loss making Dion Wired.
“Our new store concept goes beyond a providing a modernised look-and-feel, and rather encapsulates the direction we are moving in towards our broader turnaround as a business,” said Andrew Stein, vice president of Game.
“We are making positive strides in our turnaround while staying true to our value proposition for our price-sensitive customers, who expect not only wide product ranges but quality too, at unbeatable prices,” he said.
Some of the innovations to be trialled include:
- Self-checkout counters;
- Price check booths;
- Sampling vending machines;
- Electronic shelf labels;
- Free customer Wi-Fi in store.
The store will also feature a children’s play area, digital touchscreens that allow shoppers to access information on Game products and product ranges, and interactive demonstration zones across the various store categories where consumers can test products such as prams, children’s bicycles, and electronics.
“Game is changing the way we operate within our stores, our store layout, our product ranges, category propositions, and customer service,” said Stein.
Improved operational efficiencies
Stein said that the concept store will include intuitive floor design that makes store navigation easy. It will also include self-checkout counters that allow shopper to skip the queues at the regular till points.
In terms of improved operational efficiencies, additional technologies are being introduced, including:
- QR Codes: These allow customer to scan QR codes to access information on the product, as well as the option to purchase the product online and have it delivered to them;
- ESL: This technology provides staff with information on factors like rate of sale, days of stock cover and location of stock in the stockroom;
- Smart Labels: These labels make it easier to track and manage stock in stockroom;
- Trackmatic Phase 2: This technology not only allows Game to track trucks carrying stock, but provides the retailer improved visibility on the type and volume of stock being carried;
- Smart Camera Solution: This allows Game to manage queueing time for customers in stores, as well as secure its stock receiving bays.
Stein said that Game has also made a recent move to the SAP S4/HANA system, which substantially improves the retailer’s data analytics capabilities, business process efficiencies and integration with their online store.
“This also means we will be able to ensure an optimised assortment of products according to individual consumer demographics in each of our stores,” Stein said.
Game will also introduce new and expanded categories as part of its turnaround strategy – all of which will be available in the Mall of Africa concept store – including clothing, party solutions, parenting, children’s books bestsellers, home security and wellness.
“While we are piloting the Game reimagined format with the Mall of Africa store, we plan to roll out two more future-ready stores by the end of the year. Along with our other strategic plans, such as the phasing out of Fresh and Frozen from 65 stores by November and the introduction of our clothing range, Styleessentials, into all Game stores by 2021,” said Stein.