PNA, the specialist retailer of stationery, art and craft materials, educational books and related items, is growing its footprint with two new store openings in Gauteng. PNA at East Rand Retail Park opened its doors on 16 October while the Hyde Park Corner store opening is set for 22 October.
PNA Greenstone. Credit: Supplied
Despite the challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the retailer plans to open eight new stores nationally by the end of 2020, which will bring its South African store count to 95.
Responding to altered behavioural patterns
Herman Botha, group general manager explains that PNA’s business model flexibility has allowed for agility and rapid scaling during these disruptive times. As a franchisor, PNA’s business model enables store owners to tailor their product offering to meet the needs of their immediate communities.
“Our long-term strategic ambition has been to respond to demand. For example, a PNA in a university town may be more focused on the needs of students, while one based in a business district would have more office supplies. This means each franchise can cater to a profitable sector of their community, while still carrying the goods all consumers would expect from the PNA brand," Botha says.
"This model has also allowed us to respond swiftly to the changed behavioural patterns in business and individuals. There has been a resurgence in traditional family game evenings, arts and crafts and reading. On top of that, home offices sprang up around the country. PNA’s culture of encouraging franchise owners to cultivate the agility required to adapt rapidly means they’ve been able to stock up for remote workers’ business needs."
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PNA began as a franchise business 28 years ago. According to the company, operating within an established segment in the customer market means there is usually limited risk. Franchisees also have their businesses' interest at heart and are supported by an operational and in-store support team at PNA's franchisor office.
“The PNA business model is tried and tested and works well, so our franchisees feel safe having robust resources at their disposal. We continually adapt operations to simplify communications and processes while boosting efficiency. Importantly, we really care about the people we work with and despite our exponential growth, we remain true to our core of family values,” Botha concludes.