13 September 2013

South Africa: Midas Turns 30

Midas, a leading parts, accessories and lifestyle equipment chain is celebrating three decades in business.

Having survived big hair, leg warmers and the rise and fall of the Sony Walkman, and having grown from a single store in 1983, to 298 franchised outlets serving customers across South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Lesotho, Midas aims to offer service and products in the vehicle parts and accessories business, as well as the broader lifestyle travel equipment industry.

"Despite the lingering effects of the recent global economic crash, the local motor vehicle manufacturing industry has reported close-to-industry-record capital expenditure levels, illustrating a growing affinity for anything vehicle- or travel-related, so it comes as little surprise that a 30-year-old organisation like Midas has been able to stand tall in our somewhat unpredictable economy," says Stefan Le Roux, Marketing and Franchise Director for Midas.

Consistent application of sound business principles, combined with many years of relationship-building with its franchisees and suppliers, has enabled the brand to position itself as a category leader in the automotive market. That said, Le Roux is quick to point out: "We have not done it alone. Our franchisees and their loyalty have been crucial to building the legacy. It is our commitment to ensure that we are continually adding value to their business to ensure that they are as successful as they can be."

Franchisees with benefits

One of the many benefits to franchisees is that the group provides ongoing marketing and merchandising support, as well as IT connectivity to regional warehouses. The brand is able to offer no less than 72,000 line items, and has the capacity to take receipt of 600t of parts from suppliers, while still offering the customer competitively priced quality guaranteed parts and accessories.

Equally, Midas' customers and suppliers have played a critical role in contributing to the brand's success. Le Roux explains: "Three decades in business proves that every level of our success - remaining relevant, offering quality products and good service, helps entrench that spirit of brand loyalty amongst customers."

Additionally, the group's growing pool of outdoor travel suppliers, including Campgear and Intex has enabled it to meet the needs of a burgeoning travel public in Southern Africa.

"Staying true to our core business principles, such as integrity, is critical for any business to sustain its long-term growth," Le Roux adds.

The future of the automotive components industry in South Africa looks promising. NAACAM - the National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers - reported combined annual sales amongst its 390 members of R57bn, a 12% improvement over 2011. Similarly total turnover of the entire component-manufacturing sector, excluding duplication, is estimated at R86bn, up from R80bn in 2011. Midas is leveraging this growth, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Midas continually reviews product quality, relevance and positioning, to ensure that it is in line with customer needs and desires. "An influx of imported product has made it imperative for us to maintain product quality standards - particularly as the market moves from DIY (Do-It-Yourself) to DIFM (Do-If-For-Me), which requires us to ensure that we meet the needs of trade customers, in terms of quality, product range and technical expertise."

About Midas (stores)

Midas is a group of franchise-owned retail stores designed around the needs of any vehicle owner, providing service and products in the automotive parts, accessories and lifestyle travel equipment areas. The group is one of nine subsidiaries within the larger Midas Group, an entity operating in the replacement automotive parts industry.

The first Midas Parts Centre was franchised in 1983, and subsequently the 30-year-old brand has evolved to over 293 Midas franchised outlets in Southern Africa including Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa, catering not only for automotive parts and accessories but lifestyle travel equipment too. Each Midas store is equipped with fully trained salespeople offering a nationwide guarantee on products, promising the customer protection against any manufacturing defects. Products may be returned to any of the group's store should the latter occur, provided proof of purchase is presented.

Customers are able to buy products across a wide range of categories, including Service Parts, Batteries, Tools, Power Tools, Hardware, Workshop, Lifestyle, Heavy Duty and Trailer Spares, Car Care, Safety and Security, Tune-Up and Styling. Quality brands include: NGK, Willard Batteries, luk, ate, Ferodo, and many more.

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