The challenges accepted at Uptown Mica were multiple:
- No profits for 3 years
- Wrong position - no visibility from main throughroads
- No stock controls and wrong stock
- Wrong layout of stock, two levels of stock - upstairs and ground level.
- No definition of target market
- Demotivated staff, everyone just doing a job.
- Manager resigned and left 30th November 2007
The shop however did have one strength, it is the leading supplier of arts and crafts material in the city.
- Introduced Night shopping for Big Bash sales
- Returned agri stock to holding company, Farmarama
- Cut out building range - were not strong enough to hold.
- Introduced Supplier Partner programme.
- Reduced trading area by 50%.
- Rented out 25%
- Brought all stock to one level.
- Changed total store layout
- Focussed on cleanliness and enhanced lighting
- Increased GP by 5%
- Used monthly 'highlight' meeting to give recognition, vision and training.
- Gave new titles
- Clear responsibility areas.
- Allowed for change
- Clearly identified the shop target market
- Initiated and designed Radio advertising for region to enhance MICA brand. (Farmarama brand more powerfull than Mica at that point)
- Initiated Art in the Park with the fine art society and Link radio. Simultaneously raised R30,000 for Reach for a Dream foundation.
- Was given free triple stand on the local home expo show - strong Mica branding - and raised further R10,000 for Reach for a Dream
- Sponsored the Mica Lightning fast - 10km road race. "Mica my ColourCo"
- Introducing Mica Craft training centre focussing on DIY and home maintenance and offering classes on 8 different 'arts'
- Store given a total makeover on a shoe string budget
- Now offers a Colour Pharmacy with Colour Concept Lounge plus 30 seater training centre with screen, data projector, sound etc plus 2 stations for arts and crafts classes and 4 woodworking benches
- Only April 2009 has seen a worse performance than the previous year's figures.
- June 2009 (without Building materials and cement) is currently 10% up on 2008 sales and 20% up on Rands GP as at 20th.
- Basket size up as is number of sales.
- Shop is in net profit