Flemingo International has begun redeveloping and upgrading a number of its stores in Africa, starting with Cape Verde, as it seeks to improve the merchandising and product offer at its locations.
The strategic move began in April – mainly targeting the airport channel and Flemingo’s seaport business in Morocco’s Tanger Med port – and the results at Cape Verde have been very positive. Jenene Cronning, Commercial Head – Africa tells TRBusiness: “We are doing a test run at Cape Verde where the presentations and product positions have been upgraded so the store has retail standards akin to Europe. Here we have both European and African customers so we have done a lot of target market research.”
The store upgrade and the more fine-tuned approach have led to a very substantial sales surge in one month (year-on-year), an early indicator of how presentation changes may improve buying habits in the longer term. “We’re now moving into a long phase of upgrading our airport stores,” says Cronning. The next markets to be targeted are Rwanda and Zambia.
Among the changes are stronger merchandising, staffing and marketing elements plus a widening of the focus on product categories so that liquor and tobacco – traditionally the big sales drivers – are not the only focus. The perfume, cosmetics and confectionery categories have been brought more to the fore as part of a more retail-led approach with “a focus on sell-through and not sell in” according to Cronning. “Africans are definitely after the brand names,” she notes, one reason why she has pushed for better beauty presentations to drive higher sales.
Flemingo is one of the most experienced duty free players in Africa with a widespread portfolio of businesses across several channels from airport and diplomatic shops to seaports and border stores.