The Express store was opened during a period of severe steel shortages in South Africa – a result of the temporary shutdown of Arcelor Mittal’s Newcastle blast furnace as well as an unexpected increase in the demand for steel in general which saw the whole industry struggling to maintain steel stock levels.
Branch manager Pieter Gaum says, “With the backing of BSi Steel’s main processing and distribution centre in Kliprivier, the Kya Sands Express store has access to the stock and resources necessary to keep up with our customers’ demands. In cases where we do not have stock owing to current shortages, we can source an alternative product range to suit our customers’ requirements.”
The BSi Steel Express store offers a wide range of steel products which can be cut to size and delivered to the customer within 24 hours. The store’s product line, which is most popular with smaller manufacturing customers, ranges from long and flat steel products to various cold formed steels, steel tubing and roofing products.
Gaum says that in line with BSi Steel’s core values, the Express store has a strong focus on customer service and quality products. “Our commitment to providing quality products with quick turnaround times at competitive prices saw the store achieve rapid sales growth and we managed to turn a profit in just the second month of operation.”
BSi Steel chief executive for SA merchants Ross Teichmann says that the Kya Sands branch forms a strategic part of the JSE-listed company’s overall growth strategy. BSi Steel plans to open a series of Express stores nationwide over the next three years.
With Express type branches already operational in countries such as Zambia, Ghana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Teichmann says that the Express store rollout in South Africa is one of the company’s more important initiatives currently under way.