Louise Marsland (@Louise_Marsland)’s weekly pick of recent product, packaging and design launches:

  • FreshStop continues convenience rollout
  • Magnum pleasure stores pop up, and
  • Design Partnership takes on a new gym contract

Fresh expansion

FreshStop retail forecourt convenience storeThe chain of retail forecourt convenience stores, FreshStop, celebrated its 170th store opening in Pretoria in October 2014, continuing its nationwide rollout of the 24-hour chain. FreshStop has opened 13 stores in the Gauteng region since January this year, and has an aggressive pipeline of new store openings planned for upcoming months.

Gerhardt Prinsloo, development manager for FreshStop Inland, explains: “We have 69 FreshStop at Caltex stores open across Gauteng and Mpumalanga, and we are aiming to grow in excess of 200 stores nationally in the next few months. During this past month, we’ve opened four stores across the country, three of them in Gauteng and one in KwaZulu-Natal.

“FreshStop has grown into a 170-store national franchise network over the past five years and, to date, we’ve invested in excess of R400 million in C-store expansion. This investment not only empowers and develops our franchisees, but also enables them to build businesses that are sustainable and create jobs in their local communities.”

FreshStop, part of the Fruit & Veg City group, was named International Convenience Retailer of the Year 2013, due in part to its innovative product offering which places an emphasis on fresh produce and offering healthier alternatives to its customers.

The rise in the forecourt convenience retail market is attributed to a growing middle class market in South Africa with increased disposable income, who require added-value services such as pre-paid electricity, airtime, coffee bars like the Seattle franchise, and ‘dashboard-dining’ options such as quick and healthy food on the run, fresh produce and daily essentials.

Pleasure yourself

Magnum Pleasure Store Joburg 1From international cities such as New York, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Paris and Istanbul, to Joburg, the Magnum Pleasure Store opened at The Zone @ Rosebank, Johannesurg, on 1 November for an eight-week run until 24 December.

The Joburg concept pop-up pleasure store is in celebration of Magnum ice cream’s 25th birthday globally, and it has been travelling the globe since 2013.

According to Rob Muirhead from Mbongiworks, which has brought Magnum Joburg to life [and the same company which did the three-month pop-up Jacobs Board Game Café in Parkhurst in 2012 — ed-at-large], the concept store is designed to create a halo effect across the entire Magnum product range and allows the brand to play in this territory of ‘life’s greatest small pleasures’ instead of competing directly against other snacks.

Magnum Pleasure Store Joburg 2Apart from being able to customise your own Magnum ice cream (R40, choice of three toppings), fashion shows, jewellery displays and VIP events (hosted by local celebrities) are adding a touch of glamour.

There are also a host of other surprise pop-up experiences planned at the store – and the only way to get exclusive access is to stay engaged on or follow @MagnumSA on Twitter and share your choices at #MakeMyMagnumSA.

Latest figures: over 1000 ice creams are being sold per day!

Viva gym

Weight machines at Viva GymsIt’s been a while since a new chain of gyms has launched in SA, particularly one with a focus on the design aesthetic and the customer first.

Viva Gyms, which was founded in the UK, launched here this year, with the interior architecture and look and feel for the brand in SA created by Design Partnership. In doing so, the focus has been on creating a space “for the people”. Viva!

Spinning studio at Viva Gyms“Our challenge,” says Design Partnership architect, Justin Saker, “was to create a space that appeals to everybody and that makes exercising and working towards the common goal of being fit and healthy, an energetic and positive experience.

Queenax at Viva Gyms“Although it costs less to attend this gym, we did not want the interior space to look ‘cheap’. Instead, we opted to create a premium and polished look with good finishes and an urban feel that would appeal to everybody.”

Viva Gyms are dry gyms (no steam rooms or pools) to reduce rates and focus on providing gym facilities for people in the middle-to-lower income brackets. Cardio section at Viva Gyms

Shelf Life is a weekly column by Louise Marsland on MarkLives. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland Louise Marslandor email her at louise.marsland at Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Louise has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for 20 years as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites and FMCGFiles. She also edited the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper. She is currently the publishing editor of industry trendwatching portal, TRENDAFRiCA, for consumer insight, research and trends in Africa; a regular industry columnist and speaker; a consultant on content strategy; and contributing editor to Fast Company South Africa magazine, which has just launched in South Africa.

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