Oxford Freshmarket, which like its predecessor Cambridge will one day be sold for a truckload of cash to Massmart, opened its second store in October, in Hillcrest outside Durban, and so far things are going pret-ty nicely thanks. While the existing Bluff store is currently turning over R400million per annum, that’s on a trading floor of 2400m2. Hillcrest is on course for R320million, on just 1400m2, for a very high trading density of R190,000/m2, compared, say, with R106,000/m2 for Woolies, just to pull a name out of a hat. And as it happens, Woolies, according to Brett Latimer the Durban boytjie who started it all, is very much in Oxford’s sights. “We will take them on wherever we can,” he says, with an ebullience we believe to be characteristic. Oxford is targeting four new stores in KZN in the near future, and will surely go national sometime thereafter. And already, says Latimer “a major player wants to take a stake.”
Comment: All very exciting. But more exciting would be the emergence of an independent chain able to take on the Big Six without being bought out.