Source: Supermarket & Retailer
Christo Wiese, the man who helped grow Shoprite from a small supermarket chain with eight stores to the pan-African food retailer that it is today, will retire as a chairman of the company next month.
Shoprite said Wiese will step down as chairperson of its board after the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for the 16th of November, but will remain on the board as a non-executive director.
Wiese has been Shoprite’s chairperson since 1979 when his Pep Stores acquired the food retailer. His retirement was first announced in November last year after 61.2% of shareholders voted against his re-appointment as a chairman in the 2019 AGM.
Shoprite said the current chairperson of the Absa Group, Wendy Lucas-Bull, will be appointed as chair at the board meeting that will follow this year’s AGM.
The group said Lucas-Bull’s extensive banking and other sectors’ experience as well as her expertise as a chairperson and non-executive director in other companies bode well for Shoprite.
Wiese said there was “no doubt her expertise, experience and leadership will be of considerable benefit to both the Board and the Shoprite Group.”
Source: Shoprite Holdings
South Africa’s largest retailer, Shoprite, has reported a healthy rise in its key market for the 52 weeks to 28 June 2020, despite significant Covid-19 lockdown restrictions impacting the group.
Highlights of the results include:
- Sale of merchandise increased by 6.4% to a record R156.9 billion;
- Excluding the impact of hyperinflation, trading profit increased by 10.4% to R8.3 billion;
- Diluted headline earnings per share (DHEPS) increased by 2.5% to 765.8 cents;
- Adjusted DHEPS increased by 16.6% to 717.5 cents;
- Full year dividend, in line with Group policy of 2x DHEPS cover, increased by 20.1% to 383 cents;
- Net cash position improved by R6.4 billion to R10.0 billion (2019: R3.6 billion);
- Net borrowings declined by R6.1 billion to R2.0 billion (2019: R8.1 billion); and
- A total of 147 stores comprising 101 corporate and 46 franchise stores were opened.
Source: Supermarket & Retailer
Covid-19 and the pandemic’s subsequent lockdowns forced the Shoprite Group, with more than 147 000 employees, to implement a work from home environment almost overnight, rapidly facilitating thousands of virtual meetings per day in order to keep operations running smoothly.
As Africa’s largest food retailer, many of the Group’s employees continued to report to work on shop floors around the country – but those whose jobs didn’t necessitate visiting a physical store, distribution centre or office, made the change to working from home.
“Shoprite immediately made the move towards a comprehensive work from home policy as soon as government mandated it,” explains David Cohn, General Manager: IT for the Group. “And it’s been remarkably successful – within 3 days we enabled over 2 000 people to work from home; making new tools and resources available and increasing cyber security quite significantly.
“At last count, we have approximately 2 384 scheduled virtual meetings each day. Informal online meetings are even more popular – with more than 135 874 taking place since the start of lockdown.
“At present, over 3 700 Shoprite employees actively participate in online meetings – and the total number of virtual meetings sits at more than 124 000 for the lockdown period,” says Cohn.
Implementing these changes required a comprehensive IT policy that Cohn says was complex but rewarding to integrate into daily work practices.
“As most South African businesses, we’d never considered having such a rapid and complete shift to a virtual working environment, and doing so came as a shock to the system. But, as an organisation with such an agile and resilient IT department we were more than up for the challenge,” Cohn continues.
“What has been uplifting is seeing how the level of connection between our employees has remained intact. By so quickly and painlessly enabling our staff to work remotely, they’ve been able to carry on seamlessly.
“It’s certainly not been without its challenges,” says Cohn. “But employees have taken to the concept with remarkable spirit and tenacity, and together we’ve managed to keep the Group fully focused, ensuring seamless operation for the thousands of customers who depend on us daily.”
By Dhivana Rajgopaul for IOL
The Shoprite Group has announced that the sale of personal care products have soared at Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets.
According to the company, as hair and beauty salons remain closed under level 4 of the national lockdown this trend is set to continue.
There has been a sharp increase in demand for ethnic hair care, especially extensions, relaxers, conditioners and other treatments. Hair colour products have also gained significant popularity.
The increase is not only because salons are closed. Many people now have more time to do their hair at home and many hair care processes take a considerable amount of time.
Customers that normally bought groceries and household items at Shoprite and Checkers, and then went elsewhere for conditioner or hair colour are likely also trying to do their entire shop at one store. This may account for some of the sales increases.
There could also be some evidence of the “lipstick effect”, where consumers tend to spend more on small indulgences during a time of economic stress.
In cosmetics, nail polish purchases have increased dramatically while face creams, cleansers and skin refreshers dominate the skincare category. Shaving products, specifically men’s disposables, are also growing strongly.
Recently, the retailer introduced contactless QR payments keep its customers and employees safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is the first South African food retailer to offer QR payments which will be available at the tills in all Shoprite, Usave, Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores within the next two months.
Customers can scan the QR code at the till point with their phones and pay with Masterpass, SnapScan, Zapper, FNB Pay or Nedbank Pay.
As the retailer uses a dynamic QR code, the amount payable will automatically display on the customer’s phone, leaving little room for error.
This development, in line with the Group’s strategic commitment to put its customers first and make shopping more convenient for them, allowing customers to shop even if they forgot their wallet at home or would prefer not to carry cash or touch the pin pad.
By Dhivana Rajgopaul for IOL
Shoprite Group via its affiliate Computicket has launched virtual vouchers which can be redeemed at any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave supermarket to help customers during the lockdown.
The virtual vouchers that can be safely bought, in just a few easy steps, are sent via SMS to a recipient’s cellphone within an hour of placing the order. It can be redeemed immediately once received.
How it works:
1. Go to www.computicket.com to buy a voucher.
2. The virtual voucher can only be used in-store (not online) by entering the unique voucher number into the pin pad at check out.
3. Vouchers can only be redeemed once, with no change given if the purchase value is less than the voucher value. The remaining value will be loaded onto a gift card in store.
4. Vouchers cannot be exchanged for cash and cannot be redeemed at MediRite pharmacies or at Money Market counters.
5. The vouchers are valid for three years.
Customers can also send money to recipients without bank accounts at the Money Market counters located in selected Shoprite, Checkers and Usave stores.
The company has also rolled out temperature testing and mobile clinics for its employees as it continues to do everything in its power to ensure its stores remain safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Daily temperature testing as employees arrive at work and the roll out of mobile clinics follows the issuing of plastic face shields for employees last week.
Stringent hygiene and sanitising protocols have been in place across all of its stores, distribution centres and offices to keep the shopping environment virus-free.
Employees will wear face shields that are santised on the hour and at all till points staff also sanitise till surfaces.
By Janice Kew for IOL
Shoprite Holdings Ltd. started a review of supermarket operations outside South Africa and would consider exiting certain countries if that would help reverse regional sales declines.
Africa’s biggest grocer reported a 4.9% fall in third-quarter revenue when its main market is excluded, the Cape Town-based company said at the start of its annual general meeting on Monday. Weaker currencies weighed on performance and the Nigerian business was affected by xenophobic attacks — a response to violence in South Africa against immigrants from elsewhere on the continent.
“We are not scared to take the hard decisions,” Chief Executive Officer Pieter Engelbrecht told investors, adding that leaving certain markets would be considered. Other measures including cost reductions are underway, he said.
The performance contrasted sharply with improved trading in South Africa, where quarterly sales jumped by 10% even as Shoprite’s main lower-income customers battle with the impact of an economic showdown. Chains including Checkers and U-Save are benefiting from a new IT system and the revamp and opening of new stores, the retailer said.
The shares rose 0.6% to 139.04 rand as of 11:50 a.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 82 billion rand ($5.6 billion). The stock has fallen 27% this year.
Shoprite reported the update at the start of its annual general meeting, where former billionaire Christo Wiese was re-elected as a non-executive director despite some investor pressure over his three decades as chairman. Shareholder All Weather Capital had last week nominated former Pepkor Ltd. head Jan le Roux as a director to try and reduce Wiese’s influence, though he received just 16% support.
The makeup of the board will change over the next year, Wiese said at the AGM, while more attention will be given to succession planning. A decision on whether he continues as chairman will be taken later on Monday.
Retailer Shoprite has launched new standalone tech stores, called K’nect, in an effort to make it easier for its customers to access services including global money transfers, mobile phone purchases, bill payments, tickets and insurance.
- The first store was successfully launched at the Delft Mall in Cape Town in May 2019
- Six new stores will open between end July and mid-August 2019
- The stores will be located in Hatfield, Rosebank, Riverside Mall, Mmabatho, Watergate Mall and Illanga Mall
- Stores include specialist tills for money transfers, tickets for travel and events, insurance and mobile devices and accessories
- Express tills cater for quick transactions, including bill payments (accounts and bills), airtime and data (top-up and recharge), electricity purchases and Lotto ticket purchases
Image credit: MyBroadband
The Shoprite Group is fighting crime by investing heavily in sophisticated security and other measures to make its shopping space secure, reduce the number of criminal incidents and increase the number of arrests.
This is in the wake of the retail industry experiencing significant crime incidents in which the Shoprite Group had to contend with 489 armed robberies and burglaries in its 2018 financial year.
Its investments in crime prevention, including a centralised Command Centre and anti-crime team, gives the Group the ability to monitor stores and vehicles, remotely trigger security devices, follow up on crime incidents and ensure suspects are arrested.
Through an extensive intelligence network, the Command Centre receives live information on strikes, protests and other incidents. This information can be used to react and take necessary measures to safeguard the Group’s fleet on the road as well as staff and customers in its stores.
Shoprite’s efforts to keep its customers and staff safe are reflected in a reduction of contact (violent) crime incidents and increased prosecutions. “It is a work in progress,” says Group Loss Prevention Manager, Oswald Meiring. “Incidents of violent crime and robberies are coming down, and we will continue to do everything we can to make us a harder target.”
Arrests have increased by 200% as a result of the Group increasing its capability to identify, trace and arrest suspects. Recently the Group was also able to assist with the arrest of two suspects after the manager of its Worcester branch was shot and killed in a robbery. A third suspect has been identified and arrest is imminent.
“We continue to focus on creating a safer environment for customers and staff. That is our first priority and we will go to any length to prosecute whoever is committing these crimes.”
The Group works closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to affect the necessary arrests. It shares intelligence with them to ensure that bail is successfully opposed and that prosecution of criminals is successful.
In addition to tracking devices, the Group installed cameras and electronic locks on trucks which are managed from the Command Centre. Trucks can be remotely opened and closed, with alarms triggered if trucks are stationery for a certain length of time, or if unusual driving behaviour is detected. Since these devices were installed, there have been no incidents in transit on these vehicles.
It has also employed an in-house investigation team made up of experienced investigators. It has a team of Data and Crime Analysts who utilise predictive and historical analysis of all the crime data, to identify which stores or areas should be focused on. The Group has also employed an expert criminal lawyer to assist with the successful prosecution of criminals.
By Robert Laing for Business Live
Shoprite’s share price fell as much as 5.7% to R175.32 after it warned shareholders its interim results would show flat sales.
Joining the queue of JSE-listed retailers reporting disappointing Christmas sales, Shoprite said its total group sales declined 0.3% in the December quarter, the second of its financial year.
The drop in sales in December quarter followed just 0.42% growth in the September quarter, which Shoprite blamed on teething glitches in a new Gauteng distribution centre and strikes.
Shoprite is scheduled to release its interim results on February 26.
“Liquor stores remain a standout performer with 20.09% sales growth for the period,” CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said in Tuesday’s operating update.
“The group’s core business, Supermarkets RSA, achieved 2.58% sales growth for the period. Persistently low internal food inflation in SA of only 0.2% for the period marks 18 months of near stagnant prices of basic foods in which the group has a larger market share,” Engelbrecht said.
“The core Shoprite middle income consumer base remains under pressure. This was evidenced in Christmas sales in categories such as back-to-school essentials, which outperformed traditional discretionary purchases such as toys for the first time.”
Shoprite announced subdued growth on Tuesday, blaming deflation for its lacklustre performance.
The group increased its turnover by 6.3% for the six months to December 2017 – less than half of the 14% achieved in the same period in 2016.
CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said overall internal price deflation occurred in the last quarter, and that the slowdown in turnover growth should be viewed in the context of average grocery price inflation decelerating to 0.4% during the reporting period. It was 7.4% in the corresponding period.
Supermarkets RSA, Shoprite’s primary business, increased sales by 7.8% during a period when internal inflation fell to 0.4% for the six months compared to 7.4% in the previous corresponding period, driven mainly by a drop in the price of basic commodity items.
Shoprite said economic and trading conditions in its foreign markets remained unchanged, and as a result the group’s non-South African supermarket operating segment reported a 0.4% drop in rand terms.
The impact of lower commodity prices and the depreciation of local currencies remained prevalent in the larger economies it operates in outside South Africa, the group stated.
Shoprite’s furniture division reported increased sales of 10.8% while other operating segments, mainly driven by the OK Franchise division’s performance, saw 6.7% growth.
Engelbrecht said this was pleasing given low internal price inflation, and was in line with the group’s South African supermarket performance.
Shoprite’s interim results are scheduled for release on February 27.
Shares in Shoprite were trading at R214.54, up 0.72%, on the JSE on Tuesday.