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Pick n Pay reports 200% online boom during COVID-19

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Retail giant Pick n Pay saw a massive spike in its online segment since the nation-wide COVID-19 lockdown came into force.

This week, Pick n Pay published its annual results for the year ended 1 March, showing turnover growth of 4.7%.

“I am pleased with the performance of the Pick n Pay and Boxer teams in a very difficult trading environment and against a strong base last year,” comments Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher.

“We have delivered seven successive years of sales and PBT [profit before tax] growth – a record of consistent progress that few others can match in tough times. We have done this by building a better business – having the right plan and implementing it steadily over a number of years.

“Each reporting period, we have been able to report on how we have become more relevant, more innovative, more consistent, more modern and more reliable, while providing better value for customers,” says Brasher.

As to its online business performance, the retailer told ITWeb via e-mail that during the financial year ending 1 March (before the lockdown), Pick n Pay’s online sales grew 17% year-on-year, with a 12% increase in customers.

“In this period, we changed our logistics partner, and invested in a dedicated online customer services team. Alongside availability and on-time delivery rates of 98%, these initiatives increased our customer satisfaction rating to 96%,” says the retail giant.

It points out the COVID-19 outbreak has significantly accelerated the demand for online shopping.

“Since the end of March 2020, we have had more than 144 000 new customers registered online. This is 8x more registrations than the previous year. We also experienced a 200% increase in active transacting online customers.

“Our enhancements last year to create a stronger online operation enabled us to expand our offer in response to this demand. Our team rapidly increased its capacity and reach, and met the needs of many new customers.”

For instance, it says, a few days after the nation-wide lockdown was announced, Pick n Pay’s one-hour liquor delivery partnership with the BOTTLES app was re-engineered to deliver same-day grocery essentials to customers.

“We piloted it with two stores and our ‘grocery essentials’ same-day delivery service now delivers directly from over 95 Pick n Pay stores nationwide. This same-day delivery service runs supplementary to Pick n Pay’s online shopping service, which allows customers to book a delivery slot for larger weekly or monthly shops,” the company says.

The retailer adds it has rolled out a “Click and Collect” service across several of its stores, and many of its company-owned and franchise stores now encourage customers to e-mail or WhatsApp their orders directly to the store, for collection or delivery.

“Our dedicated online facilities and in-store click-and-collect platforms have delivered a growth of over 150% since the declaration of a national state of emergency,” it says.

“Many customers have tried online shopping for the first time during lockdown and have really enjoyed the ease and convenience. We expect many customers to continue being regular online shoppers in the future.”

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