KwaZulu Cash & Carry was established in April 1977, in the centre of Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The company commenced operations as a conventional wholesaler, trading in the essential commodities, such as maize meal, rice, samp, sugar, oil and beans. However, in the late 1970s the company re-positioned itself into complete retailing – supplying the informal market, the bulk consumer and retail consumer. With this new identity the company prospered and in March 1979 a second branch was opened in Empangeni. In 1988, the company was taken over from the original founders by an independent group of investors. The company then embarked on a development programme aimed at identifying new store sites in other areas of KwaZulu-Natal. In 1991, there was a name change and the trading stores were re-launched under the name of ‘Boxer Cash & Carry’.
In September 1995, the Boxer Cash & Carry concept was extended beyond KwaZulu-Natal with stores opening in East London and Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape. In 1996 the Boxer Cash & Carry concept was further extended to Mpumalanga, with the opening of a branch in Burgersfort. By the late 1997, a new corporate identity logo was adopted and the trading retail name was changed to ‘Boxer Superstores’ in order to better reflect its role, as a retailer.
Boxer Superstores continued to grow and expand where the company believed it could satisfy consumer needs. At the end of August 1997, the company merged with one of its parent companies, Goss & Co., adding three outlets in the Transkei. In October 2001, Boxer Superstores’ first step into the North-West Province, namely Mafikeng, was taken. The company acquired 3 outlets that used to trade under the ‘Supasave’ banner, which was part of the then, Brown’s Cash & Carry Group. Tzaneen was the first Boxer branch to be opened in the Limpopo Province in 2002.
In the middle of 2002, Boxer Superstores successfully concluded negotiations when it was announced that Pick ‘n Pay had acquired Boxer, which would now ideally place the group in a position to tackle the lower LSM section. 2003 saw the rollout of an aggressive store-expansion programme with seven new store openings.
May 2004 saw the birth of a new trading division within the company, through the launching of a Boxer Build in Port St Johns, Eastern Cape – the Boxer Superstores logo was uniquely modified in order to differentiate the builders’ hardware division. The reason for these two logos was to prevent customer confusion and clearly differentiate the supermarkets from the builders’ hardware outlets. Boxer Build outlets can be found in both the Eastern Cape and the KwaZulu-Natal provinces.