Hartswater has a Hinterland heartbeat once again after a brand new trading branch officially opened to the public on Wednesday, 24 July, in this Northern Cape town.
The new branch opened on the corner of DF Malan and Phokwani Street with Hinterland’s managing director, Daan Bronkhorst, and the Hartswater branch manager, Johan Zietsman, who was responsible for the ribbon cutting ceremony and introducing the new branch to clients, suppliers and members of the public.
The official opening of the new store was celebrated to the rhythm of songs by the well-known singer Ricus Nel. The idea was to create a typical farm atmosphere, much like the old barn dance evenings in the town. The food supplied by local spitman, ‘Frederik van Zyl se Skaaptrein’, was a hit among guests.
However, this story actually starts on Sunday evening, 2 April 2017, just past 18:15 with Zietsman receiving a phone call from the security company after a whole row of alarms went off. He instantly knew that there was something wrong and arrived on the scene two minutes later. He yanked the door open, smoke hanging in the air, and crawled in to switch of the main switch. With his resurgence from the store, fire trucks arrived on the scene as well as help from the community. They only managed to get the flames under control by 23:00 that evening.
Two months and three weeks after the fire, a plan was put in place to get stock and a shop was opened in a warehouse close to the Senwes Grainlink Silo in Hartswater. Here they were stationed from 23 June 2017 to 26 June 2019 in a store area of 320 m² and a warehouse area of 350 m².
“This was truly a refuge to keep the name going and to keep serving customers,” explains Zietsman. Although they acknowledged that it was frustrating and that they lost out on a big part of their normal sales figures, they knew the location was not a permanent situation.
The sales space in the store that burnt down was 390 m² and now it has more than doubled to 793 m². The store also boasts a new layout with different colors representing the different sections, as well as new furniture. The new warehouse has a floor space of 1 000 m² and this is where the opening ceremony took place.
There are now more than 30 enclosed parking spaces, 42 staff members, including 29 from Hinterland and 13 at Senwes Equipment, as well as 3 cashiers to put the last stamp on visitors’ new shopping experience.
The arms and outdoor section is a new addition to the branch. It takes up an area of 157 m² of the shop and has the very best security products that include a new technologically advanced safe as well as video-verified alarms inside and out, as well as entrances and exits within a regulated cage.
“If you build it they will come. I know that our clients will return with the arms section that will lure even more clients, even the curious ones,” explains Zietsman. He will certainly not rest on his laurels and is currently working on further initiatives focused on customer service: “I do not sell products, I sell service and after-sales service.”
For more information on Hinterland and their products, services and promotions, please visit their website at www.hinterland.co.za.
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