A first for
By: ANT KATZ
KosherWorld, the new all-kosher supermarket opposite Yeshiva College, is a new venture by Peaceway Trading 5 (Pty) Ltd, which is owned by well-known Joburg Jewish businessmen under the charmanship of Arnold Garber. The company also owns the building, Glenhazel Centre.
As with all their other ventures, when Arnold and his partners do something, they do it properly. And their venture into the kosher supermarket industry has been no different.
They have assembled a great team of seasoned retail professionals, tapped into the biggest buying power in Africa and built the perfect store for the kosher community. They have thought of absolutely everything and bring a host of ‘firsts’ to the community.
All staff members are clearly identifiable in their neat uniforms and wear name tags.
Franchised to biggest buying group in Africa
Peaceway elected to sign up as a Sentra franchise, This is an arm of the OK franchising division of the massive Shoprite/Checkers group. This ensured that KosherWorld became part of the biggest buying group in Africa. It also explains why they are able to be so competitively priced. They have just now started to introduce the very lower-priced OK house-brand of non-food items – another benefit of group buying-power.
“OK were very helpful,” says partner Joel Back. “They worked closely with us and our professional development team every step of the way, to ensure a functional layout and store design.”
Joel says that Peter Thomas, divisional manager, OK Franchise northern division, and Johan van der Westhuizen, operations manager, “were fantastic. They were always focussed on ensuring the outcome of a pleasant shopping experience.”
They brought everything!
Joel says that once he and his partners chose to go with OK, they never looked back. “It was almost a turn-key project,” he says. “They brought everything. They installed all the systems. They gave our staff training, sent a big team for our opening and then sat with us for another week.”
Peaceway’s directors have done much to ensure that both KosherWorld and the building are ‘good neighbours.’ They have invested in upgrading what was a derelict building and parking lot on a prominent corner in the Shtetl and upgraded all the facilities.
They even built KosherWorld’s plant room internally, at considerable additional expense and loss of space in the supermarket, to ensure that their residential neighbours are not troubled by the noise it makes.
Shopper gave us a tour of her trolley
“It is so wonderful to be able to shop where I can buy everything in the store,” one first-time kosher shopper told MyShtetl. [We hope for the sake of her bank account she meant “anything” and not “everything.”]
She said she was impressed with the broad range and wide variety. “I can really do my monthly shop here,” she said. The shopper, who asked not to be named, insisted on giving our reporter a tour of her trolley: “I bought toys, baby products (whatever I wanted they have), pet products too.” She said she was going to tell her husband to come and look at the range of pool, braai, and electrical products.
Asked how KosherWorld’s small but adequate range of electrical appliances could be so competitively priced, floor manager Jared Abrahams just smiled and said: “That’s what comes with being part of the OK-franchise.”
Buy and toivel, all in one place!
Another first for SA is that KosherWorld has (or will have after the first rains), built a Keilim Mikvah on the premises. Kosher consumers can buy their kitchenware and toivel it on the premises!
“Our architect, Brad Stein, co-ordinated and facilitated the design and construction of the Mikva following the Halachic requirements of the Beth Din,” says Joel Back.
Arnold Garber emphasis that the Keilim Mikvah is a community service in general: "This is not necessary only for Keilim bought Keilim bought from KosherWorld," he says, "but for Keilim bought from anywhere." For this reason the Mikvah has been situated with its entrance outside of the store so as to make members of the community feel free to use it.
The shop is well signposted so everything is easy to find. Another first is that they have Hebrew signage denoting Brachot in positions close to the relevant products.
Store charge card - another great innovation
"This week we putting in a KosherWorld charge card," explains Garber. "This, in effect, will mean that customers will be able to put funds in their account, and then give cards to their domestic workers, or their children, who can then come into the store without carrying either credit cards or cash and be able to make purchases."
Here is another massive first for the community, "KosherWorld's customers will get a further discount," says Garber, "if they use the charge card." KosherWorld will refund the commission that they would have had to pay to the customer's bank had the customer used a credit card!.
Help us to be better for you
When shoppers leave KosherWorld they come face-to-face with a table and a pile of suggestions cards. Far from thinking they know it all, these proven entrepreneurs want their customers to show them how to improve their service and product offering!
“One customer filled in the card and complained about a cheese price. We investigated, and we reduced the price,” says customer relations manager Danny Datnow.
KW - Floor Manager Jared and Perishable Merchandiser Phati –the staff are all neatly dressed and identifiable.JPG