Author: My Office News

shop-sa hosts AGM

The shop-sa AGM was held via Zoom on Thursday 21 October 2021.

Hans Servas, chairman of the board, opened the meeting and invited guest speaker, David Shapiro, to begin.

Shapiro gave a talk entitled The Chips are Down. In the talk, he highlighted the perhaps surprising positive global outlook for the next five years. What drives the positivity is the huge growth in technology, as shown by Dutch company ASML.

Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, said in an interview that there are thousands of businesses in the US that still have to migrate to the cloud to achieve efficiencies, migrate to a more accessible flexible tech. In general, it would appear that global businesses are positive about growth in the future.

The current negativity around semiconductors aside, by the end of the decade they see semiconductor sales at $1-trillion, despite the shortage that we hear about. This is because of the continual rise of IoT, electric cars and the many devices in modern society that use chips.

The global economy is heading in the right direction, but precise modelling is very difficult. Shapiro warned people to be wary of forecasts in the time being; no one knows how the world economy are going to get out the situation. The last 18 months have impacted people and businesses across the board.

In general, South African CEOs appear to have a positive outlook, and the demand for many industries is either steady or growing. However, government needs to come to the party and keep its promises.

The crisis that we faced when we went into lockdown was a health crisis, and not a financial one. The markets did not reflect a financial crisis as it was a government-induced slowdown.
This could have been a moment for global co-operation, but it unfortunately wasn’t as people went insular instead of co-operative. However, central banks did pump money into the global economy.
People are extending their savings, and thus there is an extreme level of demand. Consumers are spending money on things and global trade is surging.

In closing, Shapiro urges businesses not to give up hope that things will improve – particularly during the festive period.

The AGM reached quorum and confirmation of the minutes of 2020 was given.

The report-back on the year that was is outlined below:

  1. The weekly My Office News newsletter, sent to a large database of trade and end-users, and the monthly Trade News newsletter, both showed increased readership. The aim is to keep the industry informed of any development which could affect business.
    Rob Mathews’ report-back will provide details.
    Unfortunately, advertising revenue dropped further and with it shop-sa’s income.
  2. The Product Source Guide is still well supported but could be utilised even more by suppliers, especially new entrants.
    Critical, but not used, is the Crime Alert. With theft and corruption continuing unabated, this is a “must” for the industry.
  3. Surveys in 2020/21The result of our State of the Industry survey was published in June 2020, providing valuable insights into the impact “lock-downs” were having on our industry. Not a pretty picture, but most survived!In October 2020, shop-sa conducted another important survey, BTS 20/21 Expectations as a Result of Covid, which was followed by the Results survey in April.
    Both had a representative response and confirmed that expectations were realistic, i.e. turnover at around 75% of last year.
    It also highlighted the fact that the delay of returning to school impacted on the product mix.
  4. In May 2021, we published the revised OPI report to members. It showed that the impact of the pandemic was similar globally.
  5. Live events were not possible due to the various restrictions, although the response even during normal times was always disappointing.
  6. In March 2021, the board held a strategy meeting to discuss ways of how to revitalise and save the association and My Office.
    Rob Matthews presented a proposal to develop a platform to hold virtual trade shows and other events to provide a much needed boost to the finances of both. The board felt that even at a high cost the project was worth it and gave the go ahead. In June/July the first virtual trade show, the shop-sa Expo, was ready to be launched with a planned date of 19 August.
    Then the riots happened and we had no choice but to postpone, hoping for calm to return.
    It did, and the date was moved to the 1 September. Even though this will form part of the 2021/22 report, it is important to know how successful the event was: 13 exhibitors, including Kolok as Platinum Sponsor, attracted 2 347 unique visitors and 5 487 visits to the various exhibits (both live and static) and video presentations. Surely this must entice more suppliers and brands to come on board the next time.
  7. Local and global challenges remain, such as rebuilding the destruction in KZN and Gauteng. Luckily “only” a few stationery outlets were affected. Globally the breakdown of supply chains and shortages of semiconductors and other commodities will be felt for some time to come, not to mention other factors like “work from home”, POPIA, and the CNA business rescue.
  8. shop-sa finances
    It should be noted, that the board made the decision some time age to use the funds of the association to keep it going, hoping that the various activities and initiatives will result in the industry becoming more involved, not only financially.
    Membership showed a small increase but the income only contributes a small portion to the overall revenue.
    If a larger number of business were to join, at least break-even would be possible.
    Advertising revenue dropped again reducing income even more.
    Expenses have been kept as low as possible but cannot be reduced further.

Rob Matthews of My Office News gave a presentation on the growth of the publication, highlighting the success of initiatives like the inaugural virtual trade show.

Board elections took place. The board remains as it is, and members are as follows:

  • Hans Servas – Chairman
  • Bill Bayley
  • Allan Thompson
  • Clive Heydenrych
  • Lars Smith
  • Mark Penhall

Source: RTM World

Twenty years ago, a fascinating new material called stone paper came out of the polymer labs and onto the commercial printing market. It was a quiet launch.

Today it is quickly becoming relevant for consumers who prioritise sustainability. By using mainly stone powder, no trees or water are required, a fraction of the energy is necessary for production, CO2 emissions are dramatically reduced, and poisonous chemicals are eliminated. Over the last decade, these sustainability credentials have been demonstrated as the worldwide manufacturing capacity has increased over 33 000% to nearly 200 000 tonnes per year.

Until now, however, this paper has been irrelevant for the digital and office printing market. That’s because stone paper’s original design was for commercial offset printing. This month, a breakthrough innovation has made this material accessible to digital printing systems.

The basics of stone paper

Stone paper is composed of 80% calcium carbonate and 20% polyethylene. In China, calcium carbonate is sourced from mining waste. Natural calcium carbonate is several million times more abundant than trees on Earth but is also a common byproduct of carbon-consuming industrial processes.

The polyethylene for the current paper is HDPE plastic. This may seem counterintuitive, but the extreme efficiency of this minor component reduces the overall fossil fuel consumption of paper production and completely eliminates wastewater and trees from paper production. The plastic component is actually the key to its extreme sustainability.

These two ingredients make a paper that is waterproof, non-toxic, tear-resistant, soft touch, and bright white without any chemical bleaching. The base material is photodegradable, meaning that it reverts back to calcium carbonate within 6 months under direct sunlight. It is highly recyclable, being easier to de-ink than regular paper. Its degradation does not affect its recycling quality. It can be both mechanically recycled and incinerated without producing high emissions or ash. Incinerating stone paper leaves only calcium carbonate for further use in a number of industries.

So what’s new?

Stone paper is waterproof which also helps to avoid smudging.

The key to stone paper as a replacement for traditional paper is the innovative coating. The proprietary recipe makes it compatible with printing inks, without requiring them to soak into the paper. Until now, this coating has been optimised for offset printing. Any ink with heavy solvents or water could not dry.

After two decades of development, this problem has been solved with stone paper 2.0. It’s a huge step for stone paper because it opens new possibilities for the largest segment of digital and office printing: inkjet.

The new stone paper can be printed with heavy inks and dries quickly. Due to its waterproof structure, it requires 50% less ink to achieve the same result as comparable office paper. It has a low dot gain which ensures image crispness, accurate colours, and deep saturation. It has a higher whiteness than the previous stone paper due to the upgraded coating.

Right now, this places the new stone paper 2.0 somewhere between office paper and high-quality photo paper. That’s why it’s initially being classified as a specialty paper. It has great potential for applications with children, like educational materials and children’s books.

Could it be more than just a specialty paper?

Being difficult to tear or spoil, stone paper is also being used to print children’s books.

At stone paper’s current volume, it’s fair to classify it as a specialty paper. There is still a lack of awareness that prevents it from being mainstream material.

The production of stone paper 2.0 only started in 2021. But its novel design makes it capable of more. Calcium carbonate, the main component of the material, costs less than 5% of wood pulp.

In fact, the production costs of this new paper, in general, are much lower than comparable office and coated printing papers. Not only could it save on ink costs, but paper costs too.

This is where things get very interesting. If this new paper is cheaper than traditional office paper, saves almost half of the ink of traditional paper, and has higher quality, what could stop it from being used everywhere?

This is an even more interesting comparison than offset paper, which was more or less the same price per ton. All of the important indicators say the digital market is a place for stone paper 2.0 to thrive.

This was just an introduction to this exciting new material. Over the coming months, readers can expect to see more important insights about stone paper 2.0 exclusively at RTM World. For any questions, go to or send an email to We look forward to exploring this new material with innovative printers.

Facebook looks to change its name

By Alex Heath for The Verge

Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment for this story.

Facebook already has more than 10,000 employees building consumer hardware like AR glasses that Zuckerberg believes will eventually be as ubiquitous as smartphones. In July, he told The Verge that, over the next several years, “we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”

A rebrand could also serve to further separate the futuristic work Zuckerberg is focused on from the intense scrutiny Facebook is currently under for the way its social platform operates today. A former employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, recently leaked a trove of damning internal documents to The Wall Street Journal and testified about them before Congress. Antitrust regulators in the US and elsewhere are trying to break the company up, and public trust in how Facebook does business is falling.

Facebook isn’t the first well-known tech company to change its company name as its ambitions expand. In 2015, Google reorganised entirely under a holding company called Alphabet, partly to signal that it was no longer just a search engine, but a sprawling conglomerate with companies making driverless cars and health tech. And Snapchat rebranded to Snap Inc. in 2016, the same year it started calling itself a “camera company” and debuted its first pair of Spectacles camera glasses.

I’m told that the new Facebook company name is a closely-guarded secret within its walls and not known widely, even among its full senior leadership. A possible name could have something to do with Horizon, the name of the still-unreleased VR version of Facebook-meets-Roblox that the company has been developing for the past few years. The name of that app was recently tweaked to Horizon Worlds shortly after Facebook demoed a version for workplace collaboration called Horizon Workrooms.

Aside from Zuckerberg’s comments, Facebook has been steadily laying the groundwork for a greater focus on the next generation of technology. This past summer it set up a dedicated metaverse team. More recently, it announced that the head of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth, will be promoted to chief technology officer. And just a couple of days ago Facebook announced plans to hire 10,000 more employees to work on the metaverse in Europe.

The metaverse is “going to be a big focus, and I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet,” Zuckerberg told The Verge’s Casey Newton this summer. “And I think it’s going to be the next big chapter for our company too, really doubling down in this area.”

Complicating matters is that, while Facebook has been heavily promoting the idea of the metaverse in recent weeks, it’s still not a concept that’s widely understood. The term was coined originally by sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson to describe a virtual world people escape to from a dystopian, real world. Now it’s being adopted by one of the world’s largest and most controversial companies — and it’ll have to explain why its own virtual world is worth diving into.


Source: MyBroadband

The South African Local Government Association (Salga) found that 62% of councillors did not have the needed computer skills to pass crucial municipal budgets.

Salga’s national working group chairperson, Bheki Stofile, said in an eNCA interview that they discovered this challenge during lockdown when municipalities had to operate with remote workers.

During the lockdown, municipalities still had to comply with legislative prescripts like passing budgets.

“Many municipalities struggled to comply with prescripts and pass budgets. Councillors are used to meeting under one roof without having to use gadgets,” he said.

“We picked up that many councillors found it difficult to use computing devices when working remotely, which we have to improve in the future.”

Commenting on the level of computer skills among councillors, Stofile said many of them cannot use remote working tools like Zoom.

“Some councillors have an inability to cross from Zoom to access their documents and then move back to Zoom again,” he said.

Stofile said that while they encounter councillors who cannot use a computer at all, most of the problems occur with remote working tools.

He said Salga engaged with political parties to urge them to select councillors with the needed skills to perform their duties, especially in a digital and remote working environment.

The Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Thembisile Simelane-Nkadimeng, bemoaned councillors’ lack of computer literacy in a News24 election podcast.

Simelane-Nkadimeng said she hopes the 2021 municipal elections will result in more capacitated and skilled councillors.


Source: Ookla

New research from Ookla shows that MTN is South Africa’s fastest mobile network by some margin, followed by Vodacom and Telkom.

MTN achieved a “Speed Score” of 63.52 in the third quarter of 2021, compared to Vodacom in second place with 42.93. Telkom at 27.56 and Cell C at 21.91 brought up the rear.



The scores were calculated using end-user devices with “modern chipsets” capable of measuring a network’s full capabilities, Ookla, which owns the popular service, said in a statement.

AA warns of ‘catastrophic’ fuel price hike

By Jason Woosey for IOL

The fuel price situation in South Africa is threatening to turn into a full-blown crisis, with unaudited mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund indicating that petrol and diesel could see huge increases in November.

The petrol data is pointing towards a price increase of around R1 a litre, and the diesel situation is even bleaker – with a R1.40 increase looking likely.

Keep in mind, however, that these early predictions are based on unaudited data made available on October 14, and it is possible that the situation could change between now and the end of the month.

South Africans are paying record prices for petrol, and a R1 increase would see the cost of a litre of 95 unleaded petrol rising to around R18.60 at the coast and R19.33 in the inland regions, where 93 unleaded petrol could stretch to about R19.10.

A R1.40 diesel price hike would bring the wholesale price up to around R16.55 at the coast and R17.15 inland, keeping in mind that retail prices will be even higher than that as diesel prices are unregulated.

The predicted increases are as a result of surging international oil prices, with Brent Crude recently surpassing three-year highs. At the time of writing, the commodity was trading at $84.86 (about R1250) a barrel, which is $10 more than it was averaging in September.

The rand has mostly played on our side, spending most of October below the R15 to the dollar mark, and trading at R14.70 at the time of writing, however this has not been enough to offset the rising oil prices.

Unless oil prices soften in the coming months, the fuel price is set to cause more hardship for South Africans, as it affects not only the cost of commuting but also the price of food and other essential items that require transportation. Adding insult to injury is that illuminated paraffin is also looking set for an increase of around R1.40.


ACSA records worst first-half results in history

By Khulekani Magubane for Fin24

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) says while it saw some recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in the second half of 2021, global air traffic is unlikely to recover fully until 2025.

ACSA released its annual financial results on Tuesday morning, announcing a net loss of R2.6-billion and negative earnings before interest tax debt and amortisation (ebitda). However, the company managed to unlock funding through preference shares, staff reductions and the disposal of non-core assets, it said.

As a sector that was volatile before the Covid-19 pandemic, aviation has been rocked by the cascade of lockdowns and restrictions on movement that gripped the world last year with the advent of the novel coronavirus.

‘Worst performance in our history’

In ACSA’s case, hard lockdown in the first half of 2020 posed a significant financial threat as travel was only limited to essential services. The company noted a recovery as lockdown levels eased, but with the second wave restrictions escalated again, having a knock-on effect on travel.

ACSA CFO Sphamandla Mthethwa said 2020 and 2021 were difficult years for airport companies globally, as these businesses are estimated to have lost up to $125 billion for the year.

“For us as ACSA it is our worst performance in our history and a second loss. However, the profits that we have made in previous years enabled us to go into the pandemic with a strong balance sheet. As we sit here today, we are in a much stronger position,” said Mthethwa.

Mthethwa said the first half captured in the 2021 financial results were the worst first-half results in ACSA’s history. He said the second half saw the opening of international travel before a second wave triggered a heightening of lockdown restrictions.

“We started the year on hard lockdown and ended in March on adjusted level 3. We had ups and downs that affected aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues. In the hard lockdown we had no international travel and some limited domestic travel, restricted to business and essential services,” Mthethwa said.

He said lockdown pressure meant that the 21-million departures in the first half of 2019 were down to 4-million in the first half of 2020. However, Mthethwa said, ACSA managed to raise R810-million in long-term debt raised.

“The second half started positive, but we started having difficulties at the end of the year. There is an appreciation for the operating environment. We had supply chain interruptions, capital project delays, regulatory changes, workforce changes and reduced staff numbers,” said Mthethwa.

He said R2.3 billion in preference shares were unlocked as a debt instrument. ACSA also disposed of its Indian investment to raise R260 million and another R3 billion in facilities was used to get ACSA through the first half of the year.

Job cuts

“From a long-term sustainability perspective, we changed KPIs to reflect the forecast and implemented a staff reduction which gave us savings of R300 million, and [we] negotiated to contain capex,” he said.

Mthethwa said ACSA would work on limiting operating expenditure to R3.9 billion. He attributed a 3.3% increase in employee costs to R1.88 billion to a once-off R243 million that was spent on voluntary severance package payments.

“Our total assets came into R31.6 billion and [we] hope to push our gearing up to 65%. Even in our forecast, we don’t anticipate coming close to 65%. We still have a grip on our balance sheet in an environment that is progressively improving,” Mthethwa said.

He said despite the uncertain environment, ACSA finished the year with R2.3 billion in cash, an unqualified audit option from the office of the Auditor General, and would remain a going concern.

ACSA CEO Mpumi Mpofu said the company’s financial position was aided through headcount rationalisation through voluntary severance packages, the disposal of assets in Brazil and India, and the use of preference shares for funding. However, she said, a full recovery will take a long time.

“The overall recovery is being seen in the local market and in the international markets it is still very sluggish. Two scenarios are given. A baseline with 2023 recovery and a long road at 2024. Recovery is being led by domestic traffic and international traffic remains a little behind with recovery expected only in 2024,” said Mpofu.

Mpofu said the picture for domestic air travel looked much more positive with domestic air traffic bouncing back as Covid-19 national lockdown levels eased after the third wave. However, the southern African regions’ recovery has been slower than west Africa and developed economies.

“We saw our network lose 78.2% of passengers, but our traffic indicators show a return to pre-pandemic levels only in 2025. East London and George in terms of domestic numbers are performing better than other airports, with Kimberly and Gqeberha performing well,” Mpofu said.

Mpofu said ACSA would continue implementing its strategy, which includes developing airports, growing its footprint in line with its global and growth strategies, as well as consolidating in advisory services, diversifying revenue and continental growth.

Mthethwa said the Brazilian asset disposal was still in progress and should be finalised by April next year, with the selling price still subject to negotiations.

Mpofu said while ACSA approached government for a guarantee before the pandemic, it was government that indicated that assistance in the form of preference shares would be more a more appropriate to bolster liquidity for the entity.

Remote working is here to stay

Source: IOL

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the corporate world has seen a huge move towards remote working or, at the very least, more people working from home more often.

And considering this trend has been in place across the world for almost two years, there is strong belief that it is here to stay, forever altering the office property market as we know it.

Some professionals are even refusing to return to the office or to accept new positions at companies which insist they work on site.

This presents corporates across the globe with a dilemma, and it is playing out differently from company to company. Some are luring top talent simply by allowing them to work remotely.

The compromise appears to be a hybrid approach which allows employees to work from home a stipulated number of days a week.

International trends

PwC’s US Remote Work Survey, released in January, found that remote work had been an overwhelming success for both employees and employers, with 83% of employers saying the shift had been successful for their company, compared to 73% in its June 2020 survey.

Fewer than one in five executives say they want to return to the office as it was pre-pandemic. “The rest are grappling with how widely to extend remote work options, with just 13% of executives prepared to let go of the office for good.”

The survey also found that real estate portfolios are in transition, with 87% of executives expecting to make changes to their real estate strategy over the next 12 months. These plans include consolidating office space in premier locations and/or opening more satellite locations.

“Over the next three years, while some executives expect to reduce office space, 56% expect to need more. These mixed findings show that some companies are planning to reinvest the remote work dividend in new ways in order to create a special experience in the office.”

In the UK, recent research released by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, similarly reveals that employers are now more likely to say that the shift to home working has boosted productivity than they were in June 2020.

The figures are, however, lower than their US counterparts, at 33% and 28% respectively. The findings are part of a new CIPD report exploring how organisations can learn from ways of working during the pandemic to make hybrid working – a mixture of working at home and on site – a success.

The CIPD stresses the need for employers to look at flexible options beyond home working, recognising that not all roles can be performed from home.

“The pandemic has shown that ways of working that previously seemed impossible are actually possible. “Organisations should take stock and carefully consider how to make hybrid working a success, rather than rushing people back to the office when there are clearly productivity benefits to home working,” says Claire McCartney, senior policy adviser for resourcing and inclusion at the CIPD.

Employee demands

Another survey, in the US by insurance company Breeze, found that the work-from-home trend as a response to the pandemic has turned into a revolution in how people want to work.

Results showed that:

• 65% would take a 5% pay cut.

• 38% would take a 10% pay cut.

• 24% would take a 15% pay cut.

• 15% would take a 25% pay cut.

• 39% would give up health insurance benefits.

• 23% would give up 50% of their paid time off. • 36% would give up their retirement plan.

• 47% would give up mental health benefits.

• 34% would give up “their right to vote in all future local and national elections for life”.

Weighing in on the remote working debate, FNB commercial property economist John Loos says remote working has been shown over many years to work well, and is getting better as technology improves. What is surprising is that some work-from-home opponents do not see the opportunity for cost reductions.

On his LinkedIn page, Loos writes: “Employees reduce costs through less commuting, time and transport. Companies reduce costs through less office space and related infrastructure.

“On top of this, surveys… suggest that the labour market may adjust in such a way that market-related salaries of remote workers may in future be lower than office-bound employees.”

The potential savings opportunities seem “huge”. “Many employees want better quality of life, and they are prepared to take a pay cut for it. The progressive companies will see opportunity and drive greater work from home. The denialists and resisters will pay higher salary bills and battle more to retain and attract top skills until the market has punished them enough. This will be the continuation of a multi-decade trend and the office property market is likely to battle and ultimately to shrink in relative size as a result.”

Corporate response

Recently, the BBC reported that, in June, Apple chief executive Tim Cook sent out a company-wide memo telling staff they would be required back in the office by early September, and workers would be expected to be present for three days a week, with two days of remote work.

But some employees pushed back with their own letter and some even quit their jobs. This trend has been unfolding in several big corporates in the US.

Others, however, have bucked the trend by offering a full or partial switch to permanent remote working. Some of these corporates, who will no doubt attract top skills looking for such working conditions, include:

Remote working looks to be the way of the future, with some on-site work part of the mix.

By Aoife White and Jeremy Hodges for Bloomberg

European Union officials raided several wood pulp producers over concerns they formed a cartel, sending stocks tumbling.

Stora Enso Oyj fell the most since January in the wake of the announcement on Tuesday. The company confirmed that officials had visited its Helsinki office. UPM-Kymmene Oyj dropped as much as 5.1% in Helsinki trading as it said that antitrust authorities had “started an unannounced inspection” at its premises.

Surprise raids are usually the first big step in a cartel investigation where officials sweep up documents that might show companies have been working with rivals to fix prices or allocate sales. The EU’s fines are among the world’s highest with companies paying up to 10% of yearly revenue if they are found guilty of breaching antitrust rules.

Metsa Fiber, a unit of the cooperative Metsa Group, is being inspected, while the group’s listed board maker Metsa Board Oyj is not.

“Pulp is a global commodity, so proving antitrust issues will be challenging,” Cole Hathorn, an analyst at Jefferies International Ltd., said in a note to clients. “But, it is clearly negative for pulp sector sentiment.”

A spokesperson for Svenska Cellulosa AB said in an email that they had not been raided by officials, as did Holmen AB and Ahlstrom-Munksjo Oyj. Norske Skog ASA also said it was not affected.

“Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in an investigation into suspected anticompetitive practices,” the European Commission said Tuesday. The inspections do not imply that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behavior,it said.


Source: Supermarket & Retailer

The average middle-class adult in South Africa now belongs to about nine loyalty programmes, and mostly loves using Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper and Clicks’ Club Card, a new survey shows.

The 2021 survey conducted by BrandMapp and Truth Loyalty found that 80% of the polled consumers mostly use grocery retailer Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper card. It has shown an increase of 22% since 2019, which was the most significant jump across all retailers in the survey.

During Pick n Pay’s last fiscal year, Smart Shopper’s sales participation increased to 75% from 63%, Melissa Hanley, loyalty and strategic partnerships head at Pick n Pay, said.

“Smart Shopper had its most successful year ever last year, and we believe we achieved this by giving our members what they really needed when they needed it. The intentional strategy of Smart Prices drove massive demand amongst our members, and we consider this a significant gain on our value proposition,” Hanley said.

Pharmacy and beauty chain Clicks’ loyalty programme came in as a very close second at 79%, and was overtaken by the Smart Shopper for the first time in three years.

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