South Africa’s first Mara Experience Store today opened its doors exactly one year since the opening by Mara Phones of the country’s first smartphone manufacturing facility. Eager shoppers at Soweto’s landmark Maponya Mall practised social distancing as they waited in line ready to snap up opening specials at the franchise owned by well-known broadcaster, philanthropist and businesswoman, Chante Jantjies.
The opening of two Mara Phones facilities – one retail and one manufacturing – within a short space of time represents bold steps for Africa’s most established home-grown smartphone brand in a challenging but promising environment. An impressive 50 Mara Experience Stores, both company-owned and independently operated, are on the cards before the end of 2022.
“The launch of the first Mara Experience Store cements our commitment to expand our retail footprint in South Africa and to make it easier for customers to experience and purchase our smartphones and we are thrilled that the first store is opened by Ms Jantjies, an astute and renowned South African business woman and broadcaster,” says Sylvester Taku, Head of Growth at Mara Phones South Africa.
“Opening the first Mara Experience Store in Soweto’s first mall makes a positive statement about our belief in our bright African future and it connects us to the most populous and bustling places on the continent. As a young South African businesswoman, this is where I can best contribute to our economic upliftment by providing the technology that will help usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says Jantjies.
“Mara Phones provides quality products at affordable prices and that really appeals to me. Africans don’t have to accept second-best and we don’t have to always pay a premium for what comes standard in the rest of the world. This is our smartphone brand and we are going to use it to connect Mzanzi’s heartbeat,” she adds.
Central to succeeding in South Africa’s most storied urban area is local consumer buy-in. “Loyalty is achieved by contributing to the community and we are going to continue creating experience and development opportunities for educated, yet inexperienced young South Africans and we have ensured that the people hired in the store are young individuals from Soweto.” she concludes.
The new store enables customers to experience the look and feel of Mara Phones devices while being able to interact with Mara Phones technical specialists in their own community. The store will not only stock the latest Mara Phones devices but will also sell the latest accessories including phone covers and screen protectors.