Variety stores benefited from an easing of restrictions in 2021, as retailers across the channel were able to resume normal activities following two months of trade suspension. The partial recovery in value sales was also supported by the home seclusion trend, with suspension of some educational activities leading to increased demand for arts and crafts products to entertain children.
The Foschini Group continued to restructure its portfolio, with the company prioritising expansion in value offers. As a result, it discontinued Mat & May, a variety store introduced in 2013 that targeted a younger audience by offering a range of fashionable leisure and personal goods such as accessories, bags, and jewellery.
As digitalisation gains traction, variety stores targeting mid- high-income groups faced intensified competition from marketplaces such as Wish which provides an extended range of craft products at affordable prices. The trend was consolidated by a strategic partnership between the platform and the South African Post Office (SAPO), which has improved its last mile delivery services nationwide.
Variety stores will benefit from improving socio-economic conditions, as recovery in employment rates and spending confidence boost demand across income groups. In line with the trend, the channel is expected to see an influx of new entrants targeting niche markets such as luxury products, as well as low- and mid-income groups across rural and peripheral areas.
Greater penetration of social media will result in digital platforms remaining a key marketing solution over the forecast period. The trend will be supported by increasing affordability of social media bundles, as well as an influx of affordable smartphones.
The product mix is expected to remain a key competitive tool across variety stores, supported by the change in consumer behaviour, and greater demand for DIY products, gadgets, and technology. The review period saw an increasing number of variety stores expand their inventory of arts and crafts, as well as stationery and toys in response to the drastic decline in the number of media products stores such as Musica and CNA.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Variety Stores industry in South Africa with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Variety stores are chained or independent retail outlets with a primary focus on selling a range of merchandise across several categories. Variety stores are chained or independent retail outlets with a primary focus on selling a range of merchandise across several categories, although they may also sell grocery items. Includes fixed-price stores (e.g. dollar stores) and catalogue showrooms. Example brands include Dollar General, Woolworth (Germany), and Miniso.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Variety Stores research and analysis database.
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