Smart Striving to Become the Market Leader

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The FINANCIAL — Wissol Group is continuing the expansion of its Smart supermarket chain throughout Georgia.


The FINANCIAL — Wissol Group is continuing the expansion of its Smart supermarket chain throughout Georgia. After opening a new branch on Rustaveli Avenue in the former Georgian Post Office building, the Group is going to open more branches in different districts of Tbilisi, in Gudauri, Batumi, Kutaisi and in Poti too. In the coming months Wissol Group will open a Wendy’s, the international fast food chain, in the same building on Rustaveli Avenue. More than 300 people will subsequently be employed at Smart and Wendy’s.

With its competitive advantages Smart is striving to become the market leader, officials say. There are four Smart supermarkets in Tbilisi so far and nine in the regions. Wissol Group plans to employ about 3,000 people in the future.

“The development of the Smart supermarket network is entering an active phase,” said Soso Pkhakadze, President of Wissol Group. “We set ourselves the goal of creating a completely different kind of supermarket from what was previously available in the country. Our goal was to create such a type of supermarket in the centre of the capital which would be distinguished by its design, retail inventory, technologies, service and assortment of goods. Now Tbilisi has exactly such a supermarket that can cater to the tastes of any customer. What we are most proud of is that with the launch of each new trade centre new jobs are created which provide new income sources for hundreds of families Georgia-wide,” he added.

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“The idea of the supermarket Smart is for customers to have the feeling of being in “your supermarket”,” said Tornike Guruli, Head of the Marketing Department at Wissol Group. “The Smart on Rustaveli is distinguished by its location. The centre of Tbilisi needed just such a supermarket. Smart has revived Rustaveli Avenue and the surrounding area. The Smart supermarket in Gudauri will serve the same purpose,” he added.

The three storey supermarket on Rustaveli Avenue, spread over 1,600 sq.m, provides a wide range of German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and local Georgian production exclusively. For the provision of total comfort, a Smart Café, WIFI zone, ATM and quick payment machines are also located in the supermarket. Smart has two laboratories. After having passed a special training course 223 people are now employed in the trade centre. Smart offers competitive prices and Unicard services, officials say. The Smart supermarket has its own parking facilities for up to 120 cars.

There are 30,000 product items on the shelves at Smart and about 150 different sorts of prepared foods. Among them are a great deal of exclusively imported products such as Starbucks coffee (different flavours), ice-creams imported from Germany, sausages from Spain, and premium class Hediard tea and coffee from Paris.

“All customer needs are provided for at our supermarket. For example, Georgians like canned products a lot, so we import them from Latvia,” said Guruli. “In the event a customer cannot find a specific product they should tell one of our cashiers about it and then watch how quickly the desired product appears in store. If a customer wants to prepare some sort of delicacy or unusual dish, they can find octopus, shrimp, molluscs and other rare products at Smart. We even sell all the ingredients needed to prepare sushi or French cuisine. And for people who love beer on tap, there are six different sorts of beer on sale,” he added.

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Entering the supermarket business in Georgia in 2010 Smart is a daughter brand of Wissol Group, one of the biggest commercial groups in Georgia. The first Smart supermarket was opened at Aghmashenebeli Alley 13 km. Other supermarkets are located in Vazisubani Second micro district, Marneuli, Kvareli and on the Gori highway.



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