Having identified a growing need amongst local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and consumers for express courier services, DHL Express has expanded its national footprint by more than 130% through partnerships with local business and retailers located across the country.

As a result, the company’s retail footprint has grown to over 650 locations across South Africa in just nine months.

Wayne Van Rensburg, Commercial Director for DHL Express South Africa, says, “In this day and age, consumers crave convenience. Our expansion strategy will enable our retail customers to literally find a DHL retail outlet right around the corner.”

Following a successful retail partnership with PostNet for the past 22 years, the decision was taken to extend the partnership offering to include other prominent retailers.

3@1 Business Centres was the first new partner to come on board earlier this year. Van Rensburg says that this partnership was a good strategic fit, given 3@1’s footprint of over 75 franchises across the country, as well as the diverse customer base that the one-stop business centre caters to.

DHL Express has also partnered with Incredible Connection nationwide. “Again, we saw great synergy in their national presence and their focus on supporting small businesses”. Other partners include select Bidvest Waltons & Barksole stores as well as a number of independents. “Our aim is to connect South Africa with global opportunities and the world at large and we need to be easily accessible in order to do that.”

“Our retail partners now conveniently offer their customers DHL Express services alongside their standard offerings – allowing them to access the over 220 countries and territories that we serve. Our partners earn commission on all shipments, and enjoy the benefit of increased foot traffic and the positive association with a leading global brand. “It’s a win-win approach. If they do well, we do well,” explains Van Rensburg.

This footprint expansion in South Africa mirrors DHL Express’ aggressive retail expansion across Sub Saharan Africa, which has seen the company increase its footprint to 5 800 retail outlets in 2015. “It’s a tried and tested strategy,” concludes Van Rensburg.

To celebrate their expansion and new partners, DHL launched their “DHL Delivers” campaign on 9 November, just in time for the festive season. Consumers are encouraged to fill a virtual gift box to the value of R12 500 with items on the site and ‘virtually’ deliver the box to their closest DHL retail partner – all locations are loaded on the site and consumers can choose to send the box to themselves or to a friend. 8 lucky winners per week, for 5 weeks, will be selected and will receive their chosen prizes. Also, all shipments sent from DHL retail partners in South Africa from 9 November – 18 December 2015 will go into a draw and stand a chance to win a share of R100 000 cash. Competition closes 18 December 2015.