BuildersBox – a double-story specialised paint store in an adapted steel shipping container – has opened its doors in Jabulani in Soweto. More than just a paint centre – this business hub also provides business services to local entrepreneurs. A collaborative venture between Prominent Paints, its BEE partner, Africa’s Got-Game, and PPC Cement, the project is the first of its kind in South Africa and will also contribute towards enterprise development of informal traders within the paint and construction industry, while offering training and education to members of the community.
Developed with the single-minded vision of addressing the challenges of inequality, unskilled youth and SMME development within South Africa, the programme’s focus is directed at township revitalisation. Parallel to this, it’s growing the building and construction industry by delivering products and services to the doorsteps of communities.
Prominent Paints Brand Marketing Manager, Lani Carstens says, “With BuildersBox, consumers will have a one-stop paint shop at their doorstep for any building or construction related solutions. The concept is bringing something new and fresh to the retail experience in areas that traditionally have been lacking when it comes to DIY paint specialist centres. The customer-centric approach of the store will ensure no customer leaves without being equipped with the knowledge they need to solve their specific paint problem.”
The BuildersBox containerised solution will not only be a formal trading structure but also a training facility for local youth and members of the construction industry. The practical training, which is free to the community, will be presented by industry experts approved and appointed by Prominent Paints and PPC. As with all its training, Prominent Paints will push the message that regardless of the colour or the finish selected – surface preparation is the most important step in any DIY painting process!
Carstens says that training and developing people from the community to run and work in the retail outlet is an important part of the project’s success and this education will go way beyond paint, product and DIY skills. “It will extend to include business management skills critical to the successful operation of a startup business operation such as this. It’s also expected that through education and a presence in the area, consumers will be exposed to cost effective ways in which to add colour to their communities and to make it better in every sense of the word.”
The adapted containers are sturdy, durable, portable and easy to install and the team broke ground in preparation for installation in March. The entire construction and setting up process took less than a month. The ground floor is dedicated to retail while the top floor has a restaurant and a business centre that offers business services to entrepreneurs.
“An unknown territory and not a market that we are familiar with, we are conscious that these untapped areas carry great potential despite the challenges associated with entering these new areas,” says Carstens. “Not just an opportunity to tap into the immense buying power of this market, it also presents an ideal and exclusive opportunity for Prominent Paints to invest in and develop the communities in which we introduce the BuildersBox concept.”
The new store manager, Sagaren Packery believes BuildersBox is uniquely poised for success. “With everything available under one roof, our customers can be assured of leaving the store with all the essential materials they need to prepare and create the perfect look they are striving to achieve. As we head towards winter, the coming cooler months are the perfect time to explore this seasons’ paint décor colour palette and a colour makeover is a great way transform a personal space with paint,” says Packery. “BuildersBox will retain the family feel of the Prominent Paints Paint Centres – where their special brand of friendly and professional advice empowers customers to tackle even the most complicated DIY projects. We are truly excited to be of service to the Soweto community and really anticipate that the new offering will be received positively.”
Backed by leading, “Best in Class” coating manufacturers, PPG, the value-added product offering includes a range of quality paint systems and paint accessories, professional “on trend” colour advice, free quotations, as well as a delivery service.
“We focus on the real needs of the consumer, helping them to choose the right product fit for their needs that is superior in quality and good value for money; that’s the formulae for our success. The BuildersBox solution is another vehicle for us to deliver on these ideals and there is no doubt that we are making communities better through this partnered social development initiative,” concludes Carstens.
For more on this paint brand that always makes it better – visit www.prominentpaints.co.za or call the customer care line on 0861 77 66 46.