OP=OP in Savaneta is open

Savaneta was ready for a new shopping experience. When I arrived there yesterday, shortly before 9am, with the intention to enter the new store, I was confronted by the reality that the line was very long. Apparently the whole town had the same idea.

It was a classic store opening, one that should be studied closely, by those with the intention to enter retail. The Four Ps were in their ultimate representation a far as Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

The Product: Op=Op is a popular Dutch chain offering personal care, household and health products, the things we use every day, including toilet paper and laundry detergent.

Price: Because Op=Op operates 128 retail outlets in the Netherland, it buys in enormous quantities. Chain founder Vincent Alkema, who was here for the Savaneta opening smiles when he says,” We buy a lot,” in typical Dutch understatement. At 39, Alkema is at the helm of a successful business empire.

Promotion: The store promoted itself nicely by sending us home a pamphlet with familiar brands at ridiculously low price. It also promised a gift with every purchase for the first 100 clients – mission accomplished by 10:30am. Best of all it opened on Friday, a semi-holiday, between holidays. The Savaneta crowd enjoyed shopping at leisure, they were not in a rush to go to work, and they lingered studying the incredible selection.

Place: Genius location. The store stood empty for many years. Remember if was a Subway, then a car ran into it, causing extensive damage and it was never repaired. The place never recovered. Recently, the Aruba Growth Fund struck a deal with the owner to fix it up, and Savaneta enjoyed shopping there yesterday.

I had a list of stuff I needed, but no way, there was a great number of people in front of me. So, I swung by the Discount Store in Dakota, and fulfilled it. Apparently, the outlet in Dakota will be closing shortly to convert into the second Op=Op, with the same floor to ceiling displays and parquet floors. Then one more outlet in Noord.

After opening three locations here, the chain is planning to also expand into Curaçao and Bonaire.

Handsome Managing Director Lennert van der Poel, thought about everything, free coffee, a shady tent, a second cashier station.

It was nice to see a successful retail store opening, with the register ringing!

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April 29, 2017
Rona Coster