Tag: pick n pay

Pick n Pay to cap garlic and ginger prices

By Philippa Larkin for IOL

Pick n Pay will cap its gross profit margin for ginger and garlic, which is good news for cash-strapped consumers, following recent public complaints that fingered seven retailers for price gouging.

South Africans are struggling to afford basic foodstuffs amid rising prices.

The move follows public complaints against seven retailers about the rising cost of these items. Picture: Brendan Magaar, ANA.
In recent months, the Competition Commission has received a number of complaints from members of the public alleging that certain Food Lover’s, Spar, Shoprite Checkers and Pick n Pay stores had increased prices of ginger and garlic.

The Competition Commission said yesterday it was pleased to announce the signing of a memorandum of agreement with Pick n Pay last week – the first retailer to do so – and it hoped to formalise similar agreements with other national retailers.

“This confirms that the company has capped its gross profit margin for ginger and garlic essential food items for the period covering January 28, 2021 to April 1, 2021, which may be extended. Pick n Pay has also instructed its franchises to price no higher than the corporate store price on ginger and garlic,” it said.

The commission said it had engaged with all the affected retailers, and expressed its concerns that the alleged significant price increases of ginger and garlic in certain retail outlets could result in a contravention of Consumer Protection Regulations and other relevant provisions of the Competition Act. In terms of the Consumer Protection Regulations, ginger and garlic fall under the category of “basic food and consumer items”.

It said although the wholesale prices for these products had increased due to heightened consumer demand during the second wave of infections, the commission was of the view that this did not warrant the large increase in absolute margins seen in some instances.

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity research group published its Household Affordability Index for January 2021, which showed that the cost of a basic food basket had increased drastically.

The index showed that the price of maize meal and other maize products continued to increase, with basic and core food items such as sugar beans, rice, flour and bread seeing hikes of between 31 percent and 68 percent.

It said the cost of a basic food basket in January was R4 051.20, which was way above the monthly minimum wage.

 

Source: MyBroadband

Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher has announced they are set to launch PnP Mobile, promising to offer “more data for less”.

While details around Pick n Pay’s mobile plans remain sketchy, Brasher provided some details about their planned offerings.

He said South Africans can expect to see two new mobile virtual network operator (MVNOs) brands – PnP Mobile and Boxercom.

Subscribers of these services will enjoy benefits when they support Pick n Pay or Boxer stores.

“If you join Pick n Pay Mobile or Boxercom and you shop in our stores, you are going to get more data for less, and in some occasions, you are going to get it for free,” he said.

He said the thing which drove them to launch a mobile operator is the strong demand for mobile data.

“Data is the oxygen of individuals and communities. Data is now the elixir of life,” Brasher said in the company’s recent results presentation.

Brasher said they will shortly announce their partners and how they are going to “do this”.

“It is something fun to look forward to,” he said.

Source: Supermarket & Retailer 

More than 1 400 staff members at Pick n Pay have taken voluntary severance packages since March, the retailer has said in a trading update.

The Cape Town-based group’s voluntary severance programme (VSP) offers staff 1.5 weeks of pay per completed year of service, plus four weeks of notice pay.

According to the group, its objective is to reduce employee costs.

The group said the cost of the compensation payments to departing employees will be borne in the first half of the current financial year.

Pick n Pay said it expects the programme to be cost neutral for the full financial year, as compensation packages will be fully recouped through cost savings.

“In subsequent years, the reduction in employee numbers will have a positive impact on the operating costs of the group. Alongside other strategic actions designed to improve the Group’s performance, the VSP is a major step forward in making the business more competitive and more sustainable” the update read.

The group is projecting that its headline earnings per share for the 26 weeks to end August 2020 will be down by more than 50% as it grapples with the effects of Covid-19 on its business. This excludes the impact from hyperinflation accounting in Zimbabwe.

“I want shareholders to understand and be reassured that the impact on our first-half earnings that we are announcing today derives solely from the specific circumstances of the pandemic, the impact of measures taken by government and ourselves to mitigate it, and the once-off costs of our VSP which has made the Group leaner and more competitive,”said Richard Brasher, CEO of Pick n Pay, in the statement.

PnP changes up Smart Shopper rules

Source: IOL 

Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper will this month automatically load personalised discounts directly onto a customer’s loyalty card.

Using advanced machine learning techniques, Pick n Pay gives each Smart Shopper eight personalised discounts every two weeks. These are unique to each customer and offer cash-off savings, discounts or boosted points for products they buy most often.

“This algorithm predicts what a customer is likely to buy and helps us work in conjunction with our partners to give customers personalised savings on the items they want or plan to buy,” says John Bradshaw, retail executive: marketing at Pick n Pay.

Technology improvements means that customers no longer have to activate their personalised discounts like they had to in the past. To receive these discounts, customers will need to ensure they have given permission to be contacted, and customers can update this personal preference via the app, website, or kiosk.

From 14 July 2020, when personalised discounts are automated, Smart Shoppers who have opted in for communication will notice the discounts automatically applied and visible on their till slip when they swipe their card.

Smart Shoppers were issued over R4 billion in personalised vouchers last year, and redemptions of these vouchers has increased year-on-year since it was launched in March 2017 after customers asked for more immediate savings on everyday items.

The future of loyalty programmes lies in offering real value in the most seamless way possible, says Bradshaw. “All Smart Shoppers are earning and spending their points but many weren’t reaping the full rewards of the programme by not regularly loading the personalised discounts.

“This improvement will instantly help put money back in customer’s pockets at a time when budgets are under pressure.”

Free to join, Smart Shopper has four dedicated clubs, namely Wine, Baby, Pet and Coffee. Bradshaw explains that they are another way to boost savings and earn Smart Shopper points, especially if customers purchase items within these categories regularly.

To further offer relief to customers, Pick n Pay also recently announced it will invest R500 million of its efficiency savings into offering customers bigger deals and more savings on essential grocery items at a time they need it most.

Pick n Pay expands its online range

Pick n Pay Online is now offering a larger range of non-food items for delivery. This followed the recent announcement by Minister Ebrahim Patel that all permitted goods may now be sold online.

The non-food items that will be available online for delivery or “Click n Collect” under level four lockdown includes home entertainment items, such as televisions and gaming, and white goods, such as fridges, freezers, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers. Camping and patio furniture will also be available.

Delivery of these heavier items is available in all major cities nationally and “Click n Collect” lets customers purchase their items online and collect their order from any hypermarket.

The COVID-19 outbreak has significantly accelerated the demand for online shopping and many shoppers turned to Pick n Pay Online for their grocery shop. Since the end of March 2020, Pick n Pay’s online shop has had more than 144,000 new customers registered online. This is 8x more registrations than the previous year. Pick n Pay online also experienced a 200% increase in active transacting online customers during the period.

Last year the retailer significantly enhanced its online offering, which included changing its logistics partner and investing in a dedicated online customer services team. Jessica Knight, Head of Pick n Pay Online, says that this helped them rapidly increased the online shop’s capacity and reach to meet the needs of many new customers who have turned to online shopping since the country went into lockdown.

“We have increased our delivery slots for our online shop, which has meant customers can now get a slot within a few days of placing their order. Customers can currently get a delivery slot within three to five days, depending on the area.

Knight says they are seeing a high percentage of returning customers. “This shows how many first-time online shoppers are really enjoying the ease and convenience of online shopping. We’ve also made it very easy to shop online, for instance, customers have their own personalised ‘aisle’ with their favourite items and they can create a shopping list for regular purchases.”

Pick n Pay also leveraged its partnership with the Bottles app to launch their “Grocery Essentials” same day delivery service. This was done within days of the lockdown being announced and they now pick from over 95 stores across the country. This extended reach has helped Pick n Pay deliver to areas previously outside its delivery network, such as Port Elizabeth, Soweto and Diepkloof.

Knight explains the trends they have seen with customers using their online delivery options during lockdown. “Our average PnP online shop customer will place a larger order through our website and these are usually weekly or monthly shops to restock core grocery items, and cleaning or hygiene products. Our ‘on demand’ customers, placing orders through the Bottles app, generally shop more frequently and use the same-day delivery to top up on essential items and fresh produce.”

Many of Pick n Pay’s franchise stores are still offering ‘Click Direct’ which encourages customers to email or WhatsApp their orders directly to the store, for collection or delivery.

By Masabata Mkwananzi for IOL

As the entire country is still under lockdown and fighting the spread of coronavirus, Pick ‘n Pay has launched a digital grocery voucher to help customers during this period.

The digital grocery voucher will be available through Webtickets and Pick ‘n Pay Money counter. This new innovation will provide a convenient way to purchase and send digital grocery vouchers. Vouchers will be available from R50 up to R1 000 and once purchased, customers can simply send the digital grocery voucher to anyone via SMS or email.

Chief Information Systems Officer at Pick ‘n Pay Richard van Rensburg says the timing of this dynamic new feature is particularly relevant as many customers look to support each other, from a distance.

“Many have been separated from their friends, family, domestic workers, staff or colleagues during the lockdown. The new digital grocery voucher helps you virtually send essential food items to each other’s homes,” said Rensburg.

He added that this new feature will also help customers support a local charity that may be in need of supplies during this difficult time. The retailer recently launched its ‘Feed the Nation’ campaign which aimed at providing food for those who don’t have a support system to fall back on during this crisis and many customers have asked for a way to send a digital grocery voucher to those they want to help.

“We believe this will enable us and our customers to help feed more individuals in need.”

How it works:

  • Go to www.webtickets.co.za/pnpvouchers to buy a voucher or any Pick n Pay Money counter.
  • Once bought, customers can send the digital grocery voucher via SMS or email
  • The voucher recipient will get a message via the platform selected (SMS or email) with the voucher value and unique voucher code, which they then use when paying for their purchases.
  • Recipients will receive a notification to say you sent them a voucher and will be given the voucher number to redeem when shopping in-store only
  • The vouchers are valid for three years.
  • The digital grocery vouchers can be used in any Pick n Pay store and it is not a replacement for physical gift cards, but rather an additional feature to add more value to customers.

By James de Villiers for Business Insider

Retailer Pick n Pay, in collaboration with the Bottles delivery application, is now offering consumers same-day deliveries of essentials at over 70 locations for a cost of R60.

The partnership between Pick n Pay and Bottles previously allowed for the delivery of liquor, but this has been changed to grocery essentials in light of the national lockdown.

It differs from other delivery applications such as Zulzi in that Bottles directly integrates with Pick n Pay’s database to ensure that whatever a consumer orders is available in stock.

This service is in addition to Pick n Pay’s online delivery offering where consumers can have food delivered by selecting available delivery slots at a cost of R60 per delivery.

Most of these slots have however been taken due to increased demand during the national lockdown, despite significantly increasing the amount of slots.

Pick n Pay said the re-engineered offering from Bottles allows consumers to have access to products at in-store prices faster during the lockdown.

Consumers now have the choice of over 1 500 products, and can order over 30 different products in one order (limits may apply per product).

Areas covered by bottles deliveries include suburbs in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. More stores are expected to be introduced across the country.

“We will continue to review products offered on the Grocery Essentials app based on customer feedback, and add the most popular items. We want to make this as convenient for customers as possible,” Pick n Pay’s online head Jessica Knight said.

Orders can be placed Monday to Saturday between 08:00 and 15:00, and on Sunday between 08:00 and 13:00. Items will be delivered until 19:00, except for Sunday when they will be delivered until 17:00.

The delivery cost includes a R45 delivery fee and a R15 service fee.

Pick n Pay has big Black Friday 2019 plans

Pick n Pay’s planning for Black Friday 2019 began straight after the shopping holiday ended last year.

  • The retailer worked to gauge what customers most enjoyed
  • They looked to improve shopping experience
  • They ran a trial Black Friday on 27 September
  • Plans were made months in advance with suppliers to ensure that it has the right stock available, at the right prices, in the right quantities across the right stores
  • Arrangements for extra deliveries to stores over the weekend and add extra delivery and collection slots to our online shop
  • The staff complement was increased
  • Black Friday 2019 will involve deals at different times throughout November as well as weekly online-only deals for customers
  • It will involve a range of products from fresh food to grocery staples, appliances, liquor and clothing

PnP under fire for Smart Shopper points

When Pick n Pay introduced its rewards programme, Smart Shopper, in 2011, its success was so stunning it took the retailer by surprise.

For every R100 spent, shoppers would receive R1 back in cash-back points, which were initially valid for three years. On certain items, it offered double or triple points, or instant savings. It’s no surprise that Smart Shopper has been voted the country’s favourite rewards programme.

The impact on the bottom line forced the retailer to reassess its offering to its 10-million-plus card-holding customers, so last April, it halved the value: for every R200 spent, customers receive R1 in cash-back vouchers.

On January 1 this year, PnP introduced a new policy, expiring Smart Shopper points 12 months after they were earned.

The move’s not gone down well with many shoppers.

David Ramsay wrote to complain: “I have been an active customer at Pick ‘n Pay for as long as I can remember. I am in my 60s and, although working, I was saving up my points for a small LCD TV.

“In December, I had accumulated R557-odd and was making good progress on my goal. I received an SMS on January 18 informing me to redeem 2513 points that will expire on February 1. I subsequently went to Pick n Pay on January 20 and received a payout of R176. This is definitely not the way to treat loyal customers but I’m sure there are thousands out there with the same gripe.”

David White, who described himself as “disgusted”, wrote: “At the end of last year Pick n Pay took about R400 off my Smart Shopper account without any warning. They have been emailing me every week with details of the special offers that have been available for loading for that week onto my Smart Shopper card.

“They at no stage, however, took the trouble to mention that I had R400 of Smart Shopper points that were going to expire at the end of 2017, and that I needed to convert these points into cash and use them by the end of the year. I now feel that I have been robbed.

“They have been advising us that points expire after one year, but we had no way of knowing when the year was up for these points and when we needed to spend the money by.”

But PnP says it has done all it could to inform customers. The head of marketing, John Bradshaw explained: “We have tried to make sure customers know that their points last a year from the day they are earned.

“We first informed Smart Shoppers about this in November 2016 and have been communicating about expiry across personal emails and SMSes.

“We also realised that some customers may have opted out of receiving emails or SMSes from us, so we put reminders about points lasting a year on till slips too – from early December last year on every till slip across all stores.”

Email fatigue is a factor, which is why so many of us opt out of communication: we simply don’t pay attention to SMSes, or e-mails because much of it is spam. And not many read their till slips thoroughly, so barring tellers being instructed to inform each shopper personally, which is a big ask, it’s down to customers to ensure that they read communications from the retailer.

After all, if you’ve signed up for a rewards programme, you might want to take note.

Bradshaw says the way to avoid forfeiting the points is to exchange them for vouchers or cash before they expire, which will extend their validity to three years.

PnP’s also introduced new technology to communicate with customers on a more personalised level, Bradshaw says, which means they will be told when and how many of their points will be expiring.

“We do hope this will mean customers make the best use of their points. You can see this at the top of our weekly e-mail, for those customers who have given us permission to contact them via e-mail. We would encourage our customers to check how they’ve selected the form of communication they’d prefer so that they don’t miss out on important information, or great deals.”

I also don’t look at e-mails from retailers, but noticed on my most recent Smart Shopper mail that it didn’t mention when the points would expire, only that they would.

Same with the till slip. It’s a crucial detail: without telling consumers when they are about to expire, they aren’t likely to pay enough attention to the message.

By Georgina Crouth for Supermarket & Retailer

Pick n Pay to offer food on credit

Debt counsellors are warning consumers against buying food on credit, saying that it will have a negative impact on overall debt.

Pick n Pay is the latest store to offer customers the option of purchasing groceries on credit.

The supermarket says that it will use its Smart Shopper card programme to select shoppers who qualify.

Pick n Pay deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg says that the store accounts have been designed to exclude hidden fees that exacerbate the cost of credit and charge the lowest monthly fee of R10.

However, Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets says that it is better to buy assets on credit than food.

“Food is something that you definitely should not buy on credit. Good debt is having a home loan or a car. But if you have to finance food, then you are in big trouble.”

Debt counsellor Deborah Solomon says that it’s not advisable for shoppers to buy food on credit due to the interest charged on them.

“Food is a necessary living expense which you need to be able to have access to and it’s not wise to spend credit on food, especially when you can’t afford to pay that credit off in its full capacity at the end of the month.”

By Koketšo Motau for EWN

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