METRO also provides them with their entire equipment including the shop front, refrigerated shelves and an electronic cash register system, which supports cloud-based reports that make the goods and shop management easier and more sustainable. Franchisees receive continuous support, staff training and efficient marketing solutions from METRO, such as the weekly Freshly flyer advertising the latest deals and discounts. The innovative concept has been well received by franchisees and consumers.
Demand for fresh food is on the rise
Freshly is just on time: with more than 220 million inhabitants, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is one of the most populous countries in the world. Its middle class is growing, and as incomes rise, so does the demand for fresh food. Urban dwellers, in particular, prefer modern stores with a wide range of goods. Thirteen Freshly shops have already opened in Lahore; another 11 are set to open by the end of the financial year. Asim Isar, Finance Director, has no doubt: “We want to continue our expansion.” Pakistan is the only METRO country operating entirely within the hard franchise model (see the info box). Its current share of wallet, i.e. METRO’s share in all products sold by those stores, is 80 per cent plus. Additional shop openings in Lahore and other cities are planned for 2020. “In the long term, we ultimately want to use our pioneering position to become Pakistan’s leading franchise network in the food retail sector”, says Asim Isar.