02/10/2007 - 22:00

PrimaFresh sets an 'aspirational' target

02/10/2007 - 22:00

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Growing consumer demand for quality fresh produce has prompted former Metcash and Foodland executive, Peter Churack, to establish a gourmet retail business focusing on premium food and wine.

PrimaFresh sets an 'aspirational' target

Growing consumer demand for quality fresh produce has prompted former Metcash and Foodland executive, Peter Churack, to establish a gourmet retail business focusing on premium food and wine.

Called PrimaFresh, the new retail shop is located on Cedric Street in Stirling and is expected to open next month.  It will be the first in a planned expansion of the concept in the Perth metropolitan area.

Mr Churack declined to shed light on where he planned to open additional PrimaFresh outlets other than to say he was “certainly looking at more”.

However, WA Business News understands there are at least another two stores planned, with one expected to open in Subiaco next year.

Mr Churack said PrimaFresh stores would sell fresh fruit and vegetables, gourmet dry goods, quality meat and bakery products, but would not be a one-stop shop.

“We find that, in most situations, mum will go to the supermarket once a week for the soap powder and those sorts of things, but for fresh food she will shop three to four times a week,” Mr Churack told WA Business News.

He said PrimaFresh would be attractive to some of those customers because its stores would be located outside of big shopping complexes and was easy to drop in for those fresh produce items.

But Mr Churack said he hoped to attract a growing number of “aspirational” shoppers.

“They want to entertain and they’ve spent a lot of money on their properties,” he said.

“They’ve invested in entertaining areas and spent lots of money on their kitchens.

“They go to the restaurant and buy a Wagyu beef steak for $100. People are becoming savvier and they are enjoying dining and eating premium food.”

Mr Churack said his plans to include a wine store within PrimaFresh tapped into those premium food demands.

“It’s not going to be slabs of beer; it will be a range of gourmet wines that will complement the food people are cooking,” he said.

Mr Churack spent about a decade working for Foodland and later Metcash’s IGA, working within the fresh produce division.

But he has decided to jettison the safety net of a job in a big listed organisation to focus on building a business in what he believes it is a growing market.

PrimaFresh’s Stirling store is a much smaller concept than rival operators, Herdsman Fresh and Boatshed Fresh Food in Cottesloe.

PrimaFresh’s Stirling store is about 550 square metres and all its separate areas, such as the butcher, will be owned and managed by PrimaFresh, rather than outsourced to third parties.

Mr Churack said that, by operating relatively smaller stores, he was able to select sites in prime locations, or those that were thought to have a healthy population of “aspirational” shoppers.

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