Checkers has announced a new partnership with Starbucks which will see the coffee house and roastery chain launch outlets in select supermarkets.
In December 2020, Starbucks will open at the new Checkers FreshX supermarkets in Rosebank and Stellenbosch, where customers can enjoy a selection of handcrafted, premium beverages tailored to their personal needs, the retailer said.
First launched at Johannesburg’s Mall of Africa in 2017, the FreshX concept stores were introduced by Checkers as a way for the company to gain market share among more affluent South Africans, with the idea proving so popular that the group now plans to revamp at least a third of its Checkers stores to the new look in the medium term.
Unlike traditional Checkers stores, the FreshX concept stores feature more upmarket furniture and signage – including benches and tables for customers to test samples.
“The Checkers FreshX collaboration with Starbucks will make premium coffee more accessible and bring the Starbucks experience to thousands of consumers through its increased retail footprint,” said Willem Hunlun, chief operating officer for Checkers.
“As Checkers continues to grow and expand its fresh offering, the partnership with Starbucks is another testament to its determination to offer an improved, world-class shopping experience.”
In November, Starbucks said it will open eight new stores in four weeks in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Johannesburg and Pretoria as part of a major investment drive in South Africa.
The group said that store opening schedule begins on 19 November and will run until mid-December, with stores being opened in the following locations:
Tyger Valley Shopping Centre
The V&A Waterfront
Castle Gate Mall (Pretoria)
Adrian Maizey, owner and chief executive of Rand Capital Coffee, the custodian of Starbucks in Southern Africa, said that the investment will lead to significant employment opportunities at the new stores, and new business for contractors and sub-contractors who are fitting and equipping the eight stores.
By the end of 2020, Starbucks said it will have employed an additional 69 full-time employees, and promoted 21, taking the total complement of permanent employees to 300.
“Taking all economic realities into account, in real terms the challenges and opportunities of running a business remain of the same nature – building sustainable relationships with our customers and our partners, doing it in an economically viable way.
“Our business models should always be built on solid foundations to withstand economic downturns, and at the same time, they must be flexible enough to identify and embrace change when needed,” Maizey said.