A Domino’s Pizza outlet shuts down as pizza market battle tightens in South Africa

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A Domino’s Pizza outlet has shut down at the Checkers’ anchored mini shopping center in the Brooklands neighborhood of Centurion in what may be reflecting challenges for the American pizza brand which came to South Africa about four years ago.

Commandeered by JSE listed group, Taste Holdings, Domino’s Pizza made an elegant entrance into the South African market alongside other international fast food franchises like Pizza Hut. It prompted observers to pronounce the death of local operators like Debonairs Pizza.

It was a premature call. And the owners of Debonairs Pizza, Famous Brands, did signal that they will put up a good fight to defend their market.  In a remarkable statement the then Famous Brands CEO, Kevin Hedderwick, declared that “Let the Pizza wars begin…”

“None of our hard-earned market share is for sale,” retorted Hedderwick.

Could the shutting down of the Brooklands Domino’s Pizza outlet be a reflection of Hedderwick words. It might be. But there might be other outlet specific factors at play. The Shoprite anchored mini shopping center is not the friendliest of spots for a pizza outlet. Parking can be a challenge at peak hours and it comes across as a strictly convenience center, hidden and denied of what one might call by-the-way spending.

Another fast food outlet, Chicanos, has also recently shut down leaving the shopping center with Checkers and its liquor store, a hair salon called Dermic Hair and The Biltong House. The centre has some parking level trading space occupied by Bakesh Opticals, Nkhensis Hair & Beauty Salon, Nkhensis Dry Cleaner & Laundry and a car washing spot.

Competition from an explosion of shopping centres in and around the Centurion/Midrand area may be another factor. A new Spar anchored retail development,  Blue Valley Convenience Centre, has just popped up closed by. Its come to take away customers from nearby retail developments. These include amongst others the Pick n’ Pay anchored Blue Hills Shopping Centre, aother Pick n Pay anchored neighbourhood centre called Blue Valley Mall, Grey Owl on the eastern side of the N1 highway, Calswald Lifestyle Shopping Centre, Sanridge Square, The Reds, Centurion Lifestyle, Centurion Mall, Boulders, The Mall of Africa and Forest Hill City.

The shut down of the Domino’s Pizza in the Brooklands area leaves Perfect Pizza in the Blue Valley Mall to have fun in the area.

news@ujuh.co.za

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