Success and sustainability thanks to Jaykay Marketing Services

The company wins awards at Retail Asia Awards 2022.

The previous year has been very challenging for many companies, and Keells was no exception, as the country faced multiple lockdowns and the resulting economic impacts. Through their efforts and initiatives, Keells Supermarkets became one of the most successful retailers in Sri Lanka, winning the Supermarket of the Year - Sri Lanka Award, Store Design of the Year (Large) - Sri Lanka Award, and the Sustainability Initiative of the Year - Sri Lanka Award at the Retail Asia Awards 2022. 

The awards programme recognises major breakthroughs, innovations, and key players in the retail industry of Asia, and Jaykay Marketing Services Pvt Ltd’s efforts to boost Keells Supermarkets with Keells at Lauries and value creation for stakeholders, as well as their sustainability initiative named “Say No to Food Waste” set them apart from their competition. 

Shared value for stakeholders, the Keells way 

As multiple lockdowns and the resulting economic impacts were experienced, the year 2021 brought with it the indication and need to create a Win-Win strategy for the entire ecosystem of Keells. The single-minded focus on our core purpose ‘improving the quality of life for our nation’ guided us in devising our strategy for 2021 and beyond.

Gathered from multiple customer panels, safety, convenience, and affordability reigned supreme for customers. Keells introduced stringent safety measures with over 2650 safety audits, 123 stores getting certified as SLS COVID-19 safety management and the 350+ own-label products provided with a price guarantee of 10% lower than regular brands to provide value and access to consumers. 

Convenience through the online shopping site and app as well as the easy-to-use WhatsApp solution to place orders from the comfort of their homes provided an omnichannel experience.

Similarly, safety and wellbeing were key focus areas for our team members as Keells spent  Rs.180+ million on staff PPE and testing, whilst Rs.60+ million was provided as additional payments and transport for work during lockdowns. To improve communication in a remote working environment a Staff App was launched. Donations of PPE kits, face masks to support the nation's front-line workers continued with refreshments being supplied to vaccination centres. More than 25,000kg of excess produce was redistributed monthly to charities under the food redistribution project fighting food waste and repurposing it for good. 

The Keells Advanced Network Exchange (KANE) drove efficiencies for the 100+ suppliers registered, reducing the time to share documentation and reports. The Govi Diri project driving agri-preneurs supported farmers, among them youth and women with agricultural technology with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture. Green Houses, transplanters, and drip irrigation were provided to drive sustainable agri-practices. 

Focus on our core purpose and brand values helped Keells overcome unprecedented challenges, create shared values, and achieve remarkable milestones enabling the entire ecosystem to grow along with us.

Keells at Lauries 

The launch ‘Keells at Lauries’ a new store format with cutting-edge retail technology is a testament to the world-class retail experiences that Keells commits to its customers. The store concept came to life by understanding consumer sentiments and aspirations whilst also staying true to the brand value proposition of innovation. 

The vision of Lauries was to bring a store that reflected the customer expectation, embodies the brand and the values and led the way in retail for the country and made a sales achievement of 136% on a daily average. Through the help of a retail trend expert, product, service, and technology offering was fine-tuned according to customer feedback. 

As a result, Kafe came to life with coffee, waffles, milkshakes, cakes and ice cream, a fresh flower counter, a make-your-own pizza kiosk, new food on the go in the iconic Keells tuk-tuk and 300+ exclusively imported products like Ben & Jerry’s, Oreo ice creams, Whittakers chocolates and more. 

Keells at Lauries continues to be the first and best-in-class retail store in Sri Lanka in terms of the use of innovative retail technology, implementing scan & go units, self-checkouts, food ordering kiosks as well as a handheld device to speed up queues and check-out customers faster. 

Keells will continue to roll out this store format at selected stores, innovate and redefine the retail landscape in Sri Lanka, providing world-class retail experiences to Sri Lankan customers. 

Say No to Food Waste 

As over one-third of food gets wasted and as this number grows so does the world population and the significance of food security. Supermarkets contribute to the problem and therefore must be at the forefront of finding solutions.“Say No to Food Waste” is an ongoing initiative with a long-term goal of achieving a 35% reduction in overall food waste by 2030 within company operations. 

Redistributing unsold excess fresh produce to communities and charities in need around the neighbourhoods of our stores has been active since 2017, however, was expanded in 2020 considering the effects of the pandemic on vulnerable persons in the community. From just three stores in 2017, the project has expanded to 108 Keells stores across the country where over 25,000Kg a month, which would otherwise be directed to landfills, is now redistributed through 45 partnering organisations and charities ranging from soup kitchens, children’s homes, elders’ homes, women’s collectives and families, supporting 2500 beneficiaries every month. 

Up to 17% of Keells’ overall fresh fruits and vegetable waste is redistributed under the excess food redistribution project, with plans to expand food recovery to animal husbandry units and to produce compost being evaluated. 

Listing and selling the bumper crop of farmers that are smaller or differently shaped but still consumable was launched in January 2021 to support local farmers, reducing food waste and providing customers with an alternative which is up to 20% cheaper, at a time when disposable income was low, with the positive impact of reducing returns by up to 25% at the farm gate. Over 95,000+ kg of perfectly-imperfect produce has been sold over the past 6 months to customers. 

From 32 stores in 2020, 63 stores now participate in this effort, supporting 150+ farmers and creating a secondary market that helps reduce the strain on them to find alternative sales channels and gives them a direct stream of income. 

Using digital platforms, efforts have been taken to build awareness, such as how customers can preserve food via recipes and cookery demos of how to make dishes with leftovers. At a time when food scarcity and security grow, Keells will continue to collaborate with like-minded individuals to ensure to drive the agenda of lowering food waste.

The 17th Retail Asia Awards is presented by Retail Asia. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2023 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's outstanding retail initiatives, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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