Pick n Pay closes stores, rules out further closures

Pick n Pay Namibia says it was forced to shut down two retail stores in Eros and Keetmanshoop due to poor operational performance over a 24-month period.

The leading retailer’s Managing Director Graeme Mouton told The Brief that the Keetmanshoop and Eros stores would have required significant investments to improve operational performance and remain competitive in an already strained market.

“In addition to the current economic environment, Pick n Pay Namibia was unfortunately not able to justify such an investment at this stage,” he said.

Mouton noted that most of the employees from the affected branches were incorporated into other stores.

“None of the Pick n Pay Keetmanshoop or Eros employees were retrenched through these store closures.  All permanent employees from both stores were given the option to relocate to another Pick n Pay store in the country. Only six of the 20 Keetmanshoop employees declined this offer for personal reasons,” he said.

He, however, noted that the retailer had no plans for further supermarket closures any time soon.

The Pick n Pay Namibia MD said the business will prioritise efficiency in its operations to ensure the business remains profitable and sustainable going forward given the lower economic growth forecast for 2022 and 2023. 

“There is always pressure on retail to be efficient, therefore there is a constant focus on being efficient all the time,” said Mouton.

On the expansion of Pick n Pay Express stores planned for 2022, after venturing into the convenience retail space, Mouton said they are always looking at different opportunities to expand.

The recent closures come as the Ohlthaver and List (O&L) Group-owned retailer is venturing into the convenience retail space with two Pick n Pay Express stores planned for 2022 as it seeks to evolve and cater for increased customers’ needs amid increased competition in the segment.

This was after Spar had partnered Shell in its convenience store rollout in Namibia, while OK Stores joined forces with Puma Energy Namibia to open 12 new OK Express stores across the country.

Pick n Pay Namibia operated 21 retail stores across Namibia and employed over 1,700 employees.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 15 November 2022 21:53

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