By Fifi Rhodes WINDHOEK The Ohlthaver & List Group last week took a giant step into the Namibian economy when it opened the 16th Model Pick ‘n Pay in the country. The latest addition of the chain store network is situated in BPI House in Windhoek and finds itself in Werner List Street, aptly named after one of Ohlthaver & List’s stalwarts. Sven Thieme, the Executive Chairman of the Ohlthaver & List Group said at the opening ceremony that his company is committed to a winning strategy of being the leading and most trusted retail group in Namibia. The new Pick ‘n Pay shop has 14 permanent jobs with a staff complement of 23, all of whom are Namibians. The store has been developed with a capital investment of N$4ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â million. It boasts shelves of fresh fruits and vegetables, a bakery, a division supplying hot foods, and a butchery department. Thieme went on to say that Model Pick ‘n Pay Namibia has invested about N$50ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â million in the country since 1996 with the opening of the new store, and the refurbishment of old stores. “Going from strength to strength with plans to double our turnover in the next five years by opening two new stores and converting one store per year to the new Pick”n Pay concept, the company has clearly shown its commitment to invest in Namibia’s future”. As a member of the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies, Model Pick ‘n Pay was inaugurated in 1996 following a franchise agreement with Pick ‘n Pay South Africa,” Thieme told invited guests. Speaking at the same occasion, Terence Harty, managing director of the Model Pick ‘n Pay Group, said the company’s success was due to the constant delivery of quality, convenience, value for money, and service in its 15 stores countrywide as a priority. That is why, “we are a one-stop shop. We only open new stores which are strategically located for the convenience of our customers. We also have a vision – Mission and Values – of which we are proud and which is in line with that of the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies.” After more than a decade, Model Pick ‘n Pay boasts a workforce of 400 permanent employees and has created jobs for about 700 casuals. Every effort is made to ensure that job opportunities are constantly created, with priority given to Namibians, says Harty. “We give preference to local producers which, in turn, creates job opportunities, thereby building and strengthening Namibia’s economy.” With a long-term strategy to be the leading, most trusted retail group in Namibia, Model Pick ‘n Pay provides sustainable return on investment to all its stakeholders. “We have set a long-term strategy which is maintained and reviewed on an annual basis,” the young manager said. Earlier this month (April) saw the opening of a newly-converted store in Oshikango, the third Model Pick ‘n Pay store in the Northern region, and plans are under way to open an additional store before the end of this year. Existing stores in Windhoek and Walvis Bay are also set for upgrading. “The motivation behind the opening of a new store is determined by various factors which include location, customers power and whether it will contribute positively to the growth of our business,” Harty explained. Striving to stay committed to the communities it serves, the owners of the chain store are currently involved with the Cancer Association of Namibia, HIV/Aids and educational projects, as well as the annual Cycle Classic. “We were also involved with the Dagbreek School which saw the handing-over of a kiosk from where their fresh produce could be sold.” Officially opening the store, Windhoek’s deputy mayor, Elaine Trepper, said: “The City of Windhoek’s development priorities are geared towards enhancing local economic development and employment opportunities, addressing the social and economic needs, and the aspirations of all residents.” She said statistics show that Windhoek’s population grew at a faster rate than the national population. It is estimated that it will comprise about 25 percent of the national population by 2030. “Our mandate is thus to facilitate business growth to match the fast population growth, through consolidation and improvement of our services in the areas of water and electricity, safety and security, waste management, local economic development and job-creation. The Model Pick ‘n Pay and the Ohlthaver & List Group have for years been vital partners in both local and national economic development endeavours,” said the deputy mayor. “Over N$150ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 has been donated to community-based organizations, from which charities and numerous children’s educational institutions benefited. “This is a sign of good corporate citizenship and public-private partnership at work”. Trepper praised the company and its leaders for their efforts.
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