PNA resilience: The art of growth in uncertain times

Oct 12, 2020

JOHANNESBURG, 12 October 2020: With a current 87 stores across South Africa and its newest one to open in the popular East Rand Retail Park on 16 October and one at Hyde Park Corner on 22 October. PNA continues to cement its position as a market leader in the retail industry and provider of unique customer experiences in a specialist sector that comprises stationery, art and craft materials, educational books, toys, and other related products. 

The Covid-19 Pandemic has shown that businesses with the ability to quickly tailor existing products, offerings, and services to new consumer needs are essential to regain stability and create growth. Historical business models and data are no longer useful. Ongoing and localised insights into shifting customer situations, behaviour, and demand patterns are crucial. 

Herman Botha, Group General Manager explains “PNA’s business model flexibility has allowed for agility and rapid scaling during these disruptive times. We have maintained our customers’ trust as we reset around their needs, including how they want to buy and receive service.”

As a franchisor, PNA’s business model varies from the traditional franchise models to enable store owners to tailor their product offering to meet the needs of their immediate communities. 

“Our long-term strategic ambition has been to respond to demand. For example,” Botha notes, “a PNA in a university town may be more focused on the needs of students, while one based in a business district would have more office supplies. This means each franchise can cater to a profitable sector of their community, while still carrying the goods all consumers would expect from the PNA brand.” 

“This model has also allowed us to respond swiftly to the changing behavioural patterns in business and individuals. There has been a resurgence in traditional family game evenings, arts and crafts, and reading. On top of that, home offices sprang up around the country. PNA’s culture of encouraging franchise owners to cultivate the agility required to adapt rapidly means they’ve been able to stock up for remote workers’ business needs,” 

Despite the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, PNA has opened 3 new stores and announced that it plans to open 8 new stores nationally by the end of 2020 bringing the store count to 95 nationally.  In the 28 years since its inception, PNA has proved its mettle within a demanding sector and as a franchise operation. Importantly, it has weighed up risk versus reward for both the company and its franchisees. 

Operating within an established segment in the customer market means there is usually a limited risk. Franchisees also have their businesses’ interests firmly at heart and are well supported by an operational and in-store support team at the Franchisor Office. 

“The PNA business model is tried and tested and works well, so our franchisees feel safe having robust resources at their disposal. We continually adapt operations to simplify communications and processes while boosting efficiency. Importantly, we really care about the people we work with and despite our exponential growth, we remain true to our core of family values” Botha concludes. 


Notes to Editor

New PNA stores during Covid times:

Nelspruit Valley Hyper – 9 July

Witbank Saveways Crescent Centre – 1 September

Killarney Mall – 25 September

Upcoming store openings: 


East Rand Retail Park 

Hyde Park Corner 


Southdowns Shopping Centre 

Magalies Centre Brits 


Castle Gate 

Canal Walk 


Fourways Mall 

About PNA: PNA is a well-known South African franchise brand specialising in stationery retail. Founded in 1992, the franchise group now has 87 stores in total, all independent, owner-managed stores throughout South Africa.  It offers customers a comprehensive product range in Stationery, Art, and Craft Materials, Educational Books, and associated products. 

Released by:

Liza-Jane Webb | P 083 565 1906 

Dionne Domyan | P  083 326 1776

On behalf of PNA (Pty) Ltd