METRO Peech and Browne Wholesalers is set to open shop in Bulawayo in March in a major move that will increase competition in the sector largely dominated by OK Zimbabwe, Choppies and TM Supermarket, Southern Eye Business can reveal.
Metro Peech and Browne is a wholesale distributor with 13 branches operating in areas such as Harare, Chiredzi, Mutoko and Rusape employing more than 500 workers.
According to a source privy to the development, Metro Peech would open the first shop in March.
“Metro Peech and Browne Wholesalers is coming to Bulawayo in March. They would be occupying the building where Advance Wholesalers operated from. They are busy renovating the place at the moment,” the source said.
The wholesalers would have to battle with other retailers such as OK Zimbabwe, TM Supermarket, Pick n Pay, Greens, Tilus, SPAR, Lions, Fortwell and Choppies, among others.
Metro Peech and Browne Wholesalers is a member of the Buy Zimbabwe campaign and sources the bulk of its products from local suppliers to promote local industry. It is among enterprises that have re-entered the market in recent years and has rapidly regained its foothold.
The company launched its customer loyalty programme, the Customer Reward Scheme, in Rusape in 2014. Through the loyalty programme, customers accumulate points when purchasing goods from the wholesalers.
The points can be redeemed for household appliances and groceries once when they reach the 15 000 mark.
The maximum threshold is pegged at 750 000 points, which rebates with a Toyota Corolla vehicle. A number of companies, especially supermarkets and food chains, have opened shop in Bulawayo despite claims that Bulawayo is a dying city.
In 2014, more than five food chains, Chicken Slice, Slice Pizzeria, Steers, Chip n Roll, Mashies Coffee Shop and Restaurant opened in Bulawayo.
Retailers include Pick n Pay and Choppies. Veteran economist John Robertson said the opening of more shops in Bulawayo was healthy for customers as they would get better services.
“It’s a welcome move, especially for customers, as they are guaranteed of better services. Competition will force supermarkets to drive best services to the customers and we would continue seeing more coming in because they would be thinking they could do the job better,” Robertson said.