Tag: Shoprite

By Jan Vermeulen for MyBroadband

Customer data stolen from Africa’s largest supermarket chain is being auctioned by dark web extortion market RansomHouse, with bidding open at 20 bitcoin (R6.7-million).

Shoprite fell victim to the cyber extortion gang earlier this month, initially stating that there was a “possible data compromise” affecting some money transfer clients.

The retail group stated that some customers’ names and ID numbers were potentially leaked, specifically those who performed money transfers to and within Eswatini, Namibia, and Zambia.

However, RansomHouse soon claimed responsibility for the attack and demonstrated that it had exfiltrated names, ID numbers, and photographs of people’s government-issued identity documents.

The group claimed it compromised Shoprite’s whole know-your-customer (FICA) database for its money transfer service on 6 June 2022.

To prove its claims, RansomHouse posted 356 files containing customer identity data to its website on the dark web. Compressed, the files are just over 400MB.

RansomHouse threatened to sell the data and leak a portion online unless Shoprite paid up.

It appears Shoprite has refused to communicate with the group.

“With regards to Shoprite, we’ve made a decision to add more information about how their infrastructure was compromised,” RansomHouse said in a statement on Monday night.

“We’ll also publish the whole filetree data, so everyone could get the idea of how massive the leak actually is.”

RansomHouse said that Shoprite could easily fix the situation by contacting them.

“We’ve waited long enough for Shoprite to contact us and prevent the further leak, but they could not have cared less about their clients — they’ve only promised to notify everyone involved with an SMS,” RansomHouse said.

“This is the way large corporations prefer to deal with simple folk who entrust their personal data to these giants, not even an apology for violating all possible standards of data protection, not the slightest attempt to fix the situation.”

RansomHouse emphasised that Shoprite’s attackers did not infect the company’s systems with ransomware during the attack.

In its original notice about the breach, Shoprite promised affected customers would receive an SMS to the cell number supplied at the time of the transaction.

Shoprite said it implemented additional security measures to protect against further data loss by amending authentication processes, and fraud prevention and detection strategies to protect customer data.

It also locked down access to affected areas of its network.

RansomHouse claims that Shoprite had left customers’ data wholly unprotected.

“It’s been quite some time since we encountered something that outrageous,” the group said in an earlier statement.

“Their staff was keeping enormous amounts of personal data in plain text [and] raw photos packed in archived files, completely unprotected.”

RansomHouse said that apart from know-your-customer data, they also obtained “lots of other interesting stuff”.

MyBroadband contacted Shoprite for comment. The company did not respond at the time of publication.

 

Shoprite tackles waste with AI

Source: Shoprite

South Africa wastes up to 10.3 million tons of food each year – and this is a problem the Shoprite Group is tackling from multiple angles.

Food waste is not just a front to the hungry in a country where 2.5 million people experience hunger weekly. It also has significant environmental and economic implications. Food is wasted across the supply chain, from farm to fork. It is a complex issue, which is why Africa’s largest food retailer has adopted systematic and comprehensive plans to address it.

Stopping waste before it occurs

The best way to reduce food waste is to avoid it to begin with, according to Sanjeev Raghubir, the Shoprite Group’s Sustainability Manager.

“Our biggest efforts go into preventing food waste and losses before they occur,” he explains.

The Group does this by reviewing its ordering, replenishment and ranging processes, using data analytics to identify food waste hotspots. For example, by optimising the product range in its delis, the Group reduced food waste by 11% in that department.

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to fight food waste

“Shoprite has adopted various technologies to fight food waste,” continues Raghubir. The Group uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict sales at its stores. Replenishment orders are placed automatically, to ensure that stock is always available for customers while simultaneously reducing food waste.

Various parameters are considered by the AI model. “For example, a store close to the finish line of an annual sporting event will automatically be replenished with additional convenience meals for that single day of the year,” Raghubir says.

Salvaging and rescuing food is a popular process seeing increasing use abroad, and it’s another important piece in preventing food from being wasted. For example, blemished bananas can be used in a banana-bread recipe.

Donating food

Although the Group’s procedures and practices go a long way towards reducing surplus food, it does not eliminate it altogether. Surplus food, still fit for human consumption, remains and every day the Group donates more than 120 000 meals to over 450 charities to fight hunger and address food security.

In the past year, the Group donated surplus food valued at R138 million. It also facilitates the donation of surplus fruit and vegetables directly from farms to charities.

Creating circular economies with waste products

Not all surplus food is fit for human consumption, but the Group has a plan for this, too. Every week, Shoprite sends around 44 tons of food waste, mainly dried goods like pasta, cereals, and flour, to be converted to animal feed.

Regenerative and organic farmer Farmer Angus sources over 4 tons of fruit and vegetables (not fit for human consumption) from the Basson Distribution Centre in Cape Town each week. He feeds this to his pigs and supplies an artisanal charcuterie range back to Checkers, thereby creating another circular flow of resources and avoiding waste.

Even the 904 479 litres of used cooking oil recovered from Shoprite and Checkers delis last year, is not wasted. This oil is used for industrial applications, including the conversion to biodiesel.

Organic waste from stores and distribution centres is increasingly managed through on-site composters and off-site biodigesters. In its last financial year, the Group sent 236 tons of food waste to composting.

These measures are having a marked impact on food waste and the environment. The Group diverted 3,305 tons of food waste from landfills in the past year and saved 8,391 tCO2e.

The Shoprite Group is closely aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including the target to halve food waste at retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along the food chain by 2030 – a goal it is now on track to achieve.

 

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

The over 10-million unemployed South Africans benefitting from the R350 Covid-19 relief grant will now have greater accessibility as the Shoprite Group has stepped in to make grant payments available at its 1 286 supermarkets across South Africa.

Following the extension of the grant for another 12 months, customers can now access it at the till point in any Shoprite, Checkers, Usave and selected OK Foods supermarkets nationally. This enables customers to receive their grant, buy essential groceries and pay their bills in a single location.

To collect their grant in any Shoprite, Checkers, Usave or selected OK Foods, customers simply need to provide their ID and cellphone number. It must be the same cellphone number with which they registered on the SASSA database, as a confirmation OTP will be sent to this number to prevent fraud.

Grants are available from this month for all customers who have already registered online or at the Post Office. In-store registrations are not available.

 

Source: Tech Central

Shoprite Group, South Africa’s largest retailer, has quietly launched a basic transactional bank account linked to its Xtra Savings rewards cards. With more than 20 million of these in issue across the Checkers and Shoprite brands, customers need only register for the Money Market Account to enable banking on their existing cards.

The Money Market Account, which was launched in August last year, has over 530 000 customers, which the group says indicates that “customers see its value”. The group has 24 million unique customers in the country.

Access to the basic, no-frills account is via the group’s mobile channels (via the Shoprite app, USSD or WhatsApp). Prior to last month, the account only enabled customers to deposit funds to buy groceries and pay utility bills.

Customers are able to send money to others and withdraw cash at the retailer’s stores
Now, through a partnership with Grindrod Bank, customers are able to send money to others and withdraw cash at the retailer’s stores. Registering for an account is simple: An SA ID or passport and cellphone number is all that is required.

This account is effectively operating on a regulatory framework designed for “wallets”. This has less stringent requirements when it comes to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) – the Money Market Account does not require Fica registration.

There are, however, limits in place to prevent these kinds of accounts being used for money laundering: Account balances cannot exceed R25 000 at any time and there is a daily limit of R5 000 each for cash withdrawals, cash deposits and transfers.

Linked to a cellphone
FNB has used a similar approach to enhance its eWallet proposition, extending it to the Easy Zero account (which basically operates on the eWallet platform, but also comes with a card).

These limited accounts have one key difference from a normal bank account – they are linked directly to the account holder’s cellphone number. This means they do not interact with the national payments system, so do not offer debit orders or EFT functionality.

Shoprite positions this as a positive on the account website, saying: “Your money is your money … no debit orders or deductions.”

The group has a hard-hitting launch offer which gives customers R10 back for every R100 they spend in-store. The account has only a single fee: R5 for withdrawing cash at the retailer’s till points. This is smart as it disincentivises withdrawals, keeping more cash in its account ecosystem (and available to spend in-store).

Every other transaction – including deposits, sending money, purchases in store and prepaid airtime/electricity purchases – is free. At this point, the linked Xtra Savings accounts can only be used for purchases made at the group’s stores. If an account has no activity for 180 days, a fee of R5/month is charged.

The group is aggressively targeting businesses that disburse cash to staff, with zero fees on all disbursements. Floats are loaded, disbursed and reported on for free, and businesses will interact with a personal account manager. The group is carrying these costs to ensure it gets more cash (digitally) into its ecosystem, as it means a greater likelihood of this being spent at its stores.

Jean Olivier, GM of financial services at Shoprite Group, said: “The development and roll-out of the account has been driven entirely by customer needs. They wanted a straightforward account which allows them to be in full control of their money and does not surprise them with any hidden fees.”

Adding this functionality to the accounts has the potential to meaningfully disrupt the market, particularly at the lower end

The group added the linked card functionality following feedback from customers. It said “customers like transacting with their phones, but also with a card, and some raised concerns about how to access their Money Market Account if their phone battery went dead or they forgot their phones”.

Adding this functionality to the accounts has the potential to meaningfully disrupt the market, particularly at the lower end. It could see economically active customers who currently rely on normal basic bank accounts (like Capitec, new entrants and those from larger rivals) shift some of their purchasing activity onto this account.

Simple transactions like airtime purchases often attract a fee (50c or R1) on many of the “normal” bank accounts. Shifting those transactions to the Money Market Account will have a material impact for lower-income earners.

Cheaper
For those who rely on money from relatives and have very basic transactional requirements (buying groceries, withdrawing cash), this is an even cheaper way to transact.

For the retailer, shifting customer purchases from other banks to the Money Market Account has the obvious advantage of it no longer having to pay interchange fees on these transactions. On a large active user base, this amount will be material.

Shoprite Group maintains that while the Money Market Account has increased its banking functionality, it “has no intention of becoming a fully fledged bank, but rather to use its size and reach and technology to provide basic transactional banking and solve basic transactional banking issues for its customers”.

Becoming a bank would be an enormous step for the retailer as it would require a licence and that subsidiary would have certain capital requirements. This is almost certainly off the table for the foreseeable future.

Far more interesting is what a slightly more fully fledged transactional bank account proposition, still utilising Grindrod Bank’s licence and technology, might look like.

 

Source: News24

Shoprite has decided not to reopen six of the 231 stores that have been “significantly” damaged during the civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July.

Some 83 stores remained closed, with 47 of these stores “significantly impacted by fire”.

“[The] process of reopening for these stores will be mixed: some may open in the coming months, some may take a year, others will require new premises,” the group said.

In a presentation, Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said that the group managed to reopen some stores that were “completely destroyed” within six days.

Unrest damage will be covered by insurance, and Shoprite already received its first payment from the state insurer Sasria. But some costs, including additional security at other stores during the unrest, can’t be recouped.

Engelbrecht said that at stores that were not damaged during the unrest, sales momentum was “very good” following the year-end. Its full-year dividend increased by 42% to 544 cents per share.

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Retailer Shoprite has deployed its Usave Ekasi trucks to the Jabulani community in Soweto shop for essential grocery items after the local mall was destroyed in the recent unrest.

Jabulani Mall, situated in South Africa’s biggest township, Soweto, was one of the many shopping centres damaged by looters when violent rioting and looting took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Since the unrest, some Shoprite stores in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have not been able to operate. The retailer has been working on restocking and rebuilding its affected stores with plans to reopen as soon as possible.

Until this is done, Africa’s largest retailer has sent in it is mobile trucks to ensure that consumers at least have access to essential products.

“Two Usave eKasi trucks were recently deployed to Jabulani in Soweto to enable community members to purchase basic food items and other necessities until Shoprite Jabulani reopens,” the retailer told Business Insider South Africa.

The retailer plans to reopen the doors to its Jabulani store on Thursday, 29 July.

The unrest in the country caused a wave of destruction in KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of Gauteng – at least 200 shopping centres were looted and plundered. In addition, 161 malls, eight factories, and 11 warehouses were extensively damaged, according to data compiled by the South African Property Owners Association.

The grocery trucks will next visit the Ratanda community, a township south of Johannesburg, before moving to other affected areas, it said.

“On Thursday, the two Usave eKasi trucks that were temporarily stationed in Jabulani will be deployed to Ratanda, near Heidelberg, and Protea Glen as the Group continues to ensure food security in affected communities,” Shoprite said.

The Shoprite group started rolling out the Usave Ekasi mobile grocery stores last year when the Covid-19 pandemic surfaced in the country in a bid to get closer to communities and help them save on transport costs. It also introduced the trucks to ensure food security.

Source: IOL

Retailer Shoprite Group is calling on the government to allow its employees to receive vaccinations urgently as the third wave of the Covid-19 increases in severity.

The group said it has more than 140 000 employees who serve more than 25 million people a month.

The supermarket group said it was South Africa’s largest private-sector employer, and believes the government must prioritise the allocation of vaccines to its front-line workers. It will source and administer the vaccines at its own cost and through its logistics and pharmaceutical infrastructure.

The group said when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the level 4 restrictions, he said the mining, manufacturing and taxi industries would be the focus of the fourth stream of the vaccination programme.

Shoprite Group chief executive Pieter Engelbrecht said: “Our front-line workers, including cashiers, merchandisers and line management retail workers, have been at work every day since the onset of the pandemic, working tirelessly to ensure we provide food, essential groceries and medicine to the nation.

“Our people interact with 25 million customers coming into our stores every month, and they must be vaccinated,” said Engelbrecht.

He said the group strongly believed that its employees should be prioritised, and the group was ready to roll out vaccinations on behalf of the government to its employees.

The group said it had a logistical and pharmaceutical distribution network to roll out vaccines to its employees through Transpharm Pharmaceutical Distributors and pharmacy chain MediRite.

“As the last few weeks have shown, South Africa will continue to be vulnerable to future waves of Covid-19 until we have vaccinated a sufficient percentage of our population,” Engelbrecht said.

“The group is eager to see the vaccine roll-out programme accelerated, and we can help if we can secure and administer vaccines while absorbing all the costs ourselves.

“We are prepared to play a role and foot the bill, and we can ensure it will happen rapidly,” said Engelbrecht.

 

Source: IOL

Giant South African retail chain Shoprite Group have tightened the screws on criminals targeting its stores.

The supermarket chain said that its efforts to prevent crime and the protect its customers and employees by employing a team of security experts comprising of ex-police officers and using technology has resulted in a 16% year-on-year decline in violent and serious crime, including armed robberies and burglaries, from July 2020 to May 2021.

The in-house team – operating from a centralised command centre – is involved in the entire process from identifying suspects to their arrest, being in court to oppose bail, working with police to ensure they have a complete and accurate docket, working with the National Prosecuting Authority and providing evidence in court, to do everything it can to ensure criminals are prosecuted.

Shoprite said crime and high risk situations are picked up through store and fleet monitoring, live information feeds and the group’s intelligence network, and security devices are immediately triggered.

When robberies do take place, the team is proving highly effective in securing arrests and prosecution, and the Group is becoming known for its capability to identify, trace and arrest suspects.

Head of Group Security & Loss Prevention, Oswald Meiring, believes Shoprite is a retail industry leader with its initiatives which are centred around a team of in-house investigators, which include former police members and detectives, with a unique mix of skills and extensive experience in commercial crime, fraud, serious and violent crime.

The team’s network includes informants, third parties working exclusively for it and an expert criminal lawyer.

The command centre team makes extensive use of technology and software systems including electronic dockets, suspect photo albums and evidence files.

A team of data and crime analysts do predictive analysis, identify suspects, and link suspects to each other and to the crime scene.

This technology, including video footage and a chain of evidence, has been critical in court proceedings.

The net result is that the investigation team made 752 court appearances, including postponements, bail, testifying and sentencing, in the 11 months from July 2020 to May 2021.

It secured 64% more guilty findings and/or convictions than the previous 12 months, amounting to 303 years and six months of prison sentences and 46 years and six months of suspended sentences.

The team has been instrumental in 200 arrests in the first 11 months of this financial year. The majority (54%) of crimes currently in court are for armed robbery, 26% are for theft and the rest include crimes such as arson, assault, looting, burglary and fraud.

As some cases were postponed in the last year due to lockdown restrictions, the team is currently in court every day.

Meiring says the Group focuses on fighting crime because it is the right thing to do as a concerned and responsible corporate citizen. “We also believe that securing arrests and sentences for crimes acts as a deterrent and ultimately reduces crime. We believe this is an important element of our contribution to make South Africa a safer environment for everyone.”

The Shoprite Group encountered specific lockdown-related challenges and benefits. Increased unemployment led to more opportunistic crimes, and mask-wearing made it more difficult to identify suspects. However, suspects couldn’t move around freely, resulting in increased arrests, while curfew hours also assisted in detecting criminal activity quicker and easier.

The Group appeals to members of the public to report any suspicious or criminal behaviour immediately and anonymously by calling its toll-free number 0800 11 88 79 or by sending an email to service@asesa.co.za.

 

Shoprite launches new mobile network

By Jamie McKane for MyBroadband

Shoprite has launched its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) called K’nect Mobile which offers flat call and data rates.

The network also provides new customers with 100MB free data for three months and rewards Shoprite, Checkers, and Usave customers with free data and airtime when they make qualifying purchases.

Last week, Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said the launch of Shoprite’s own virtual mobile network was imminent, adding that it would allow the company to enhance its use of customer data even further.

“In a world where data access is a necessity, this move also means the Shoprite Group is now truly a one-stop-shop for its customers,” Shoprite said.

“K’nect Mobile’s key differentiator is simplicity, with flat call and data rates, and no complicated tiers.”

“Airtime, data bundles and rewards only expire after 60 days, rather than the more common 30-day expiry,” it added.

Users of products in the Shoprite Group’s ecosystem, such as Xtra Savings account holders, can earn free airtime, data, or streaming content when swiping their XtraSavings cards at checkout.

Other rewards include early access to Computicket events and tickets, and 100MB free for three months (six months for Xtra Savings members), subject to in-store RICA and activation.

The prepaid cellular network runs on the mobile network infrastructure of Cell C, which roams in turn on MTN’s physical infrastructure.

Shoprite said the network would become available to customers next month.

Rates and Xtra rewards
K’nect Mobile offers the following data and call rates to its customers:

  • 50c per minute all day K’nect to K’nect calls
  • 99c per minute all day calls to other networks
  • 15c per megabyte for any size data bundle, up to 1GB

It also offers the following Xtra rewards to users with qualifying accounts:

  • 10% free on recharge
  • 10% Xtra for Xtra Savings cardholders
  • 5% Xtra when recharging via Money Market Account
  • Double airtime rewards on Xtra Savings airtime deals

K’nect Mobile SIM card will also benefit from zero-rated data on selected Shoprite and Checkers websites and apps, including the Money Market Account, Computicket website, and the Group’s jobs portal.

“At the same time, the move will help the Shoprite Group streamline communication and drastically reduce its internal data costs,” the company said.

“Its 141 000 employees are now able to receive communications directly on the Group’s internal app (called SiyaRinga) without the need to reverse data costs.”

It said the network forms part of the company’s financial services offering, which enables customers to pay bills, buy cell phones, make money transfers, buy airtime and data, lotto tickets, electricity and funeral insurance in partnership with OUTsurance.

“K’nect Mobile is part of our ever-growing suite of fintech products designed to better serve our customers,” said Shoprite financial services general manager Jean Olivier.

“We’ve spent a lot of time understanding how a mobile network can add value to our customers’ lives, and our solution is an easy to understand network that offers straightforward call and data rates as well as tangible rewards.”

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets will offer early Black Friday deals and discounts of up to 50% on everyday essentials as customers are increasingly looking for value given the pressure many households are under.

In response to Covid-19, both Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets will for the first time offer early Black Friday deals and keep the deals valid for longer, to allow customers more time to plan and shop, and to prevent overcrowding.

Deals will be offered on selected groceries, electronics, small appliances and much more. Some of the early Black Friday deals available to Xtra Savings members at Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper include:

● Shoprite (early Black Friday deals: valid from 20 – 22 November 2020):

○ 2 x value packs of Pampers pants for R220 (R200 saving)

○ 2 x 500g bricks of Rama Original 70% fat spread for R30 (save 40%)

○ 850g Parmalat cheese for R75 (R45 saving)

 

● Checkers (early Black Friday deals: valid from 23 – 24 November 2020):

○ 18 pack Twinsaver 2 ply toilet rolls for R75 (save 35%)

○ 2 x 3kg packs of Ariel washing powder for R99 (R98 saving)

○ 800g Clover cheese for R75 (R84 saving)

 

● Checkers Hyper (valid from 23 – 27 November 2020):

○ Xbox One S 1TB Console for R5 699 (R1 300 saving)

○ 40″ JVC TV for R2 949.00 (R600 saving)

○ 4.5 litre Platinum air fryer for R999 (R500 saving)

Stringent hygiene and sanitising protocols will be in place to help protect customers and employees as far as possible including the use of face masks, hand sanitiser, social distancing and limited entry where necessary to avoid overcrowding.

Additional security measures will also be employed.

Shoprite and Checkers will release more Black Friday deals in due course, and Xtra Savings members will be notified first. Some deals will be exclusive to members.

 

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