Leading home improvement, DIY and building materials retailer, Builders has announced the appointment of Karen Ferrini as Vice President of Builders and member of the Massmart Executive Committee. Effective 1 February 2023, Ferrini takes over Herman Venter’s position following his appointment to Group Chief Merchandise Officer (CMO).
With almost 25 years’ experience in retail and FMCG, Karen joined Builders in 2009 as Africa Executive, soon after which she was given added responsibility for Builders’ Superstores. She was appointed Operations Vice President for all Builders stores in December 2019, a role she undertook for over 3 years ahead of being appointed in her new role.
Prior to joining Builders, Karen held various positions at Procter and Gamble. During her 11-year tenure she held positions that spanned Engineering, Manufacturing, Warehousing & Distribution and Customer Service. She holds a BSc qualification in Chemical Engineering and a Higher Diploma in Education both of which she obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Passionate about the business and delivering on commitments, Ferrini believes in being action orientated and a team player. “Our focus remains on continuous improvement to meet the different needs of both our retail and trade customers. We continue to respect the way our customers choose to shop with us whether it be in-store, online, through the contact center or serviced by a sales representative. I am very process and action orientated and will strive to help simplify our customer’s interactions with Builders,” she says.
“As Massmart, much investment has been made in both e-commerce and digitization. We are constantly looking for ways to streamline processes to increase efficiencies and free up our employees’ time so that they can dedicate themselves to better serving our customers. Digitization not only makes day-to-day activities more efficient but allows for the easy refinement of data and information to improve a customer’s shopping experience with us,” says Ferrini.
Recent innovations from Builders includes the launch of the Smart Home Department in some of the Warehouse stores. This department offers customers technological solutions that can be used to enhance their homes in areas such as security, lighting and connected home solutions.
Builders also launched, Product Finder, an online tool to help customer’s source hard-to-find products, even when the products are not stocked in any Builders stores. The new Builders PRO benefits program aims to boost tradespeople’s businesses and offers a rebate for cash purchases over R50 000 annually.
Speaking on Builders’ expansion plans and key strategic focus areas over the next few years, Ferrini adds, “Builders is a growth engine for the Massmart business. We aim to open at least 50 new stores in South Africa over the next five years. Hand in hand with this, we are looking to restore over 60 of our existing stores to ensure that we offer our customers a consistent shopping experience.”
“Our growth plans will also positively impact our talent attraction and retention as well as create opportunities for career progression.” she says.