RUNDU – Pupkewitz Megabuild Managing Director Marcel Lamprecht opines a depressed economy brings with it numerous opportunities. For this reason, the company is investing in expanding its facilities countrywide, including a brand new N$47 million hardware store at Rundu.
“I still say that in this tough time, if you look at Covid-19, it does reaffirm our commitment towards Namibia and rural communities. We do investments of this nature in these tough times,” said Lamprecht during the official opening of the Rundu branch on Thursday.
“I mean, many would say let’s keep our money and wait for the economy to turn around but we believe there are opportunities in a downturned economy,” Lamprecht emphasised.
Pupkewitz Megabuild’s brand-new branch in Rundu was constructed at a total cost of N$47 million, including stock. The new facility is almost three times as big as the old store, as it was upgraded from about 460 square metres to the new facility that boasts 1250 square metres.
“And we have about 4000 square metres of yard space in the back. At the old store, there was parking space for about 10 vehicles, while the new shop now has parking that can accommodate 65 vehicles. The new store also added more line items, providing a completely new shopping experience to our valued customers,” Lamprecht continued.
“The new Rundu branch has not only been built with the environment in mind but is our greenest shop yet. We have achieved this through the implementation of water-saving and recycling processes as well as by making use of solar energy,” he added.
Pupkewitz Megabuild always had a presence in Rundu’s CBD – and according to the MD, the firm eventually realised that the branch needed a reinvestment, as the building became old and was not suited to provide a proper customer experience as the retail sector evolved.
The new store employs 31 staff, compared to 24 at the old store.
“We will probably add (staff) as we see the market response and we will expand as the need arises,” Lamprecht stated.
With the Rundu upgrade completed, the MD noted they are now upgrading their facility in Walvis Bay.
“We are on a drive to upgrade our facilities, and our contractors are some of our loyal customers, so we are repaying some of their loyalty,” he said.
According to the MD, Pupkewitz has plans to expand to Nkurenkuru in Kavango west and Divundu in Kavango East.
Lamprecht explained that although the activity is down in the construction industry, it seems like it is slowly recovering and more Do-It-Yourself customers are coming into the store.
Long-time Pupkewitz employee Mangonga Katura at the Rundu opening said employees are now flexible to work and assist customers.
“Customers can now drive into the yard up to where the materials are and we load for them without picking things outside,” said Katura who has worked for the store for eight years.
“This location is convenient because it takes us away from the busy CBD where they were situated – and I like how they have organised their shelves in the yard; it makes it easier for us, as customers, to go around,” said customer Jerry