Pick n Pay job cut concerns

Pick n Pay served over 1,000 managers across South Africa with possible retrenchment letters but said there are no plans to fire staff.

Last week, SABC reported that Pick n Pay store managers across the country face an uncertain future after they were served with possible retrenchment letters.

The retailer is also offering employees voluntary severance packages, which some have reportedly accepted.

Pick n Pay responded to the retrenchment concerns saying it is restructuring its stores to serve customers better.

As part of the restructuring process, the retailer will remove positions which are no longer required. However, there are no plans to cut jobs.

Opera News reported that Pick n Pay stated it is committed to engaging in consultations and finding suitable solutions.

Pick n Pay said it values its employees and their contributions to the business and is working to minimise the impact of the restructuring process on jobs.

The National Union of Food, Beverage, Wine, Spirit and Allied Workers (NUFBWSAW) told Daily Investor that it is not aware of any Section 189 process at Pick n Pay.

The news about possible job cuts at Pick n Pay comes after a trading update saying the retailer expects “resilient earnings within the context of the difficult trading environment”.

Pick n Pay warned that the impact of unprecedented load-shedding, particularly diesel expenditure to run generators, has significantly influenced its results.

“Despite this, we have contained the earnings impact by holding the underlying gross profit margin constant and tight control of trading expenses,” Pick n Pay said.

Pick n Pay said it remained focused on the successful execution of its Ekuseni Strategic Plan, which includes workstreams to reduce the impact of the current levels of load-shedding as much as possible.

Pick n Pay responds

Pick n Pay explained that it is implementing its Ekuseni plan to serve customers better.  “We are modernising our stores and offer, and last year, we created a new QualiSave brand,” it said.

As part of the plan to serve customers better, Pick n Pay is modernising its store management structures.

As such, it is removing roles which are no longer required and investing in new roles that provide greater service and flexibility.

“While some roles are no longer required, others will be created,” the retailer said. “Overall, more jobs will be created in stores than exist at present.”

Pick n Pay is asking staff to be flexible on the roles they will perform in the future.