Pick n Pay loses R1.7 billion in sales due to civil unrest, liquor restrictions
Pick n Pay lost and estimated R930 million in sales due to the civil unrest in July.
The retail giant has published its financial results for the six months ended 29 August 2021.
Another R800 million was wiped out because of the lockdown liquor restrictions, bringing the total figure for lost sales to over R1.7 billion.
More than 200 stores were damaged during the July looting and another 550 closed to protect staff and customers.
Pick n Pay’s two largest distribution centres in KwaZulu-Natal were looted of all stock, and suffered considerable damage to infrastructure
However, the Group recorded sales growth of 4.1% over the period, to R46.0 billion.
Pick n Pay still needs to get "leaner, faster, and more efficient" says CEO Pieter Boone.
That is why I have announced today a new ambition under our Project Future to deliver R3 billion in additional savings over the next three financial years.Pieter Boone, CEO - Pick n Pay
Boone says the company's focus on future growth through Boxer, clothing and omnichannel have borne fruit, with winning performances from all three divisions.
Bruce Whitfield talks to Boone, who came to South Africa earlier this year to take over as Pick n Pay CEO from Richard Brasher
The best way to describe our results for the first half is a tale of two quarters - a very strong first quarter with growth of 9%, and subsequently a second quarter whereby we were severely impacted as a consequence of trade restrictions related to Covid and subsequently the unrest...Pieter Boone, CEO - Pick n Pay
It was heartbreaking to see what happened... But also I have to say the strength and the resilience they've shown to rebuild the business and get the food supply reinstated was something very encouraging to see...Pieter Boone, CEO - Pick n Pay
Brasher says years of experience working mainly in emerging markets have prepared him to deal with a certain level of uncertainty.
I've learned one thing - and I think it is something we applied correctly here as well - remain and calm and make sure that all the communication channels... remain open.Pieter Boone, CEO - Pick n Pay
The adequate reaction from the government, in hindsight, could have been different. Nevertheless... the way the communities stood up in order to protect our stores is something heartwarming to see. That shows the strength and resilience of this country on the other side, and it gives me a lot of reassurance and confidence going forward.Pieter Boone, CEO - Pick n Pay
Discussing the Group's plans for the future, Boone says they are aiming to make inroads in both the lower and upper ends of the retail market.
"To put it nicely, it is playing chess on different chess boards."
Listen to the in-depth interview with the Pick n Pay CEO below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Pick n Pay loses R1.7 billion in sales due to civil unrest, liquor restrictions
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