Incredible goes ‘micro’ with e-stores
IT retailer Incredible Connection is testing the concept of smaller stores in remote areas, with the first outlet in Vredenburg’s West Coast Mall. By Craig Wilson.
Incredible Connection, one of the country’s largest IT retailers, is launching a string of small outlets in outlying towns and other remote areas of SA that it says will allow consumers in these areas to get access to a wide range of technology products while growing the company’s customer base.
The company is set to launch the first of its new “micro format e-stores” in the West Coast town of Vredenburg next week. The new store is just 80sq m in size, meaning stock is limited, but customers are able to order items online and have them delivered to the store, or directly to them.
Incredible Connection CEO Marco van Niekerk tells TechCentral that although the size of the stores will be limited, and thus stock will only comprise top-selling products and consumables, the range of products available won’t be restricted to in-store offerings as the model relies heavily on customers ordering products online.
The stores will also offer technical support. Van Niekerk says the goal is to provide a “local store feel” like that of any of its larger branches and customers are encouraged to come into the store for support and information.
“Although the new e-stores will have a full online offering, we understand our customers’ need for personal contact – hence the provision of product demonstrations, technical support and aftersales service,” Van Niekerk says.
“We’re hoping to add another two stores before the end of the year, but Vredenburg is really the stress test.”
He says Vredenburg’s remoteness makes it “perfect” for testing the concept and the logistics involved.
“Instant gratification drives purchases,” says Van Niekerk. “Customers love being able to come in and pick up what they’re looking for. We want to support that with this e-store concept. Customers can order online and collect immediately or have their purchase delivered quickly.”
He says Incredible Connection wants to open 50 micro stores in the coming 24 to 36 months.
The Vredenburg store will have five staff when it opens its doors next week. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media