Tag: Shoprite

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.

Shoprite launches standalone tech stores

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.

Shoprite records gloomy Christmas sales

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.

Source: Fin24.com

Shoprite to vote on Whitey’s R1,7bn share sale

Shoprite shareholders will vote on whether to approve a proposed repurchase of about R1.7bn of shares from former chief executive officer Whitey Basson.

Basson exercised a put option on May 2 that meant Cape Town-based Shoprite would buy 8.58 million shares from the ex-CEO, who stepped down as head of Africa’s biggest food retailer at the end of last year.

The original sale price of R211.01 a share was later reduced to R201.07, the 30-day weighted average price up to when Basson decided to use his put option. At least 75% of voting shareholders have to be in favour of the repurchase for it to be approved.

Shoprite shares fell 0.5% to R222 at the close in Johannesburg on Monday, valuing the company at R133bn.

Billionaire Christo Wiese, Shoprite’s largest shareholder and South Africa’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of R72.6bn, said August 22 he wasn’t expecting significant opposition from investors.

The put option, agreed to in 2003, ensured Basson didn’t “flood the market” with shares while he worked for the company and was also part of an incentive to retain him in the role, which he held for almost four decades, Wiese said at the time.

If the deal isn’t approved, Basson should have no difficulty selling the shares to money managers over the next few months, Syd Vianello, an independent retail analyst in Johannesburg, said by phone. The stock has risen since the put option was triggered, meaning Basson could get even more cash if he sells independently.

Wiese owns about 15% of Shoprite’s ordinary listed shares and a further 30% in voting rights. The Public Investment Corp, which looks after state pensions and is the continent’s biggest money manager with assets of R1.6trn, holds about 10% of the company and is its second-largest shareholder.

By Janice Kew forBloomberg News

New venture may shake up shopping malls

Steinhoff Retail Africa, along with partner Shoprite, is set to disrupt the retail market, if they implement plans to own shopping centres.

Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said this week: “If you look at all the brands that are currently in the company [Steinhoff] and you add ours, they could be opportunities in real estate where we could open shopping centres just with these brands on their own.

“Once we’ve combined we’ll make such a decision. But it could be a possibility because the combined value of real estate is huge between Shoprite and all these brands within Steinhoff Africa,” said Engelbrecht.

The creation of Steinhoff Africa Retail, known as STAR, will include Steinhoff’s African assets such as Ackermans, Poco South Africa, JD Group, Timbercity and men’s apparel retailers Dunns and John Craig, Pepkor South Africa and rest of Africa, and Tekkie Town, to name a few, and will result in Steinhoff acquiring a 22.7% stake in Shoprite.

Lucrative opportunity

Given the close relationship between Shoprite and Steinhoff, a move to combine the two groups’ own shopping centres could also mean Shoprite’s grocery brands, such as Checkers, Usave, Liquorshop and fast food brand Hungry Lion, could take up space in these shopping centres.
Engelbrecht added that because there was quite a big mix across the two groups, including furniture, food, liquor, pharmacies and electronics, this could be “quite a lucrative opportunity to explore”.

Earlier this month Steinhoff announced the details of the listing of its African and European assets into two companies, which would be listed separately.

This deal comes after a previous attempt to merge the two groups had failed. Under the new transaction, Engelbrecht said, it had panned out that Shoprite would stay “autonomous” and separately listed.

“For us that’s also more exciting as we as management believe that we should operate independently.”

But combining their brands in shopping centres could be one way to extract synergies and savings for Shoprite.

Keillen Ndlovu, head of listed properties at Stanlib, said “rental as a percentage of turnover and sales has been going up particularly in the bigger shopping centres. The bigger centres have been able to attract higher rents over time but unfortunately, the higher rental growth has not been catching up with sales and turnover growth.”

Slowing sales

This meant the cost of occupation for retailers had been rising with the average cost of occupation at 10% of sales as at the end of December 2016 from 8.5% as a percentage of sales between 2004 and 2016, Ndlovu said.

“Given the slowing sales and economic environments in general, this is likely to make it harder for landlords to bargain for rental increases from retail tenants. Therefore, rental growth is likely to slow down,” he said.

For Shoprite’s full year to end-July 2017, the cost of new operating leases rose 9.6% to R3.8-billion from the R3.5-billion in the previous quarter, “mainly due to a net 109 new corporate outlets opened during the year”, the company said.

And for the group that is focused on letting every rand fight for its life, a reduction in costs in the current trading environment will be welcome.

“We must drive our own strategic focus to create value for shareholders, but wherever there are synergies or saving or opportunities that we can share with the STAR group we will not be adverse to it at all,” Engelbrecht said.

Source: Business Live

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