Make Pick n Pay great again

The new Pick n Pay CEO, Sean Summers, said they need to rekindle South Africans’ affection for Pick n Pay and energise their staff to turn the company around.

Summers made these comments following Pick n Pay’s disappointing financial results for the 26 weeks to 27 August 2023.

The retailer experienced a particularly challenging period, delivering poor results at a time of high load-shedding and increased competition.

Group turnover increased 5.4%, but the trading profit margin declined to 0.1% from 2.4%. Trading profit declined by 97.5% from R1.25 billion to R31.8 million.

Pick n Pay’s headline earnings per share declined by 241.5% – from earnings of 97.73 cents per share to a headline loss of 138.24 cents per share.

Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman said despite the country’s challenges, the group’s result is extremely disappointing.

“The performance of our core Pick n Pay business has not met expectations,” Ackerman said.

Pick n Pay’s disappointing performance saw the board replace former chief executive Pieter Boone with Summers.

Summers returned to Pick n Pay after successfully leading the company from 1999 to 2007. He was appointed as CEO on 30 September 2023.

He said his focus is to return the core supermarket business to growth and profitability and maintain the growth of other key parts of the business.

“This is an exceptional company with a much-loved brand and a rich heritage. We have a lot of work to do, and I have received strong support from our people,” he said.

Summers said employees want to see Pick n Pay succeed. His task is to ensure they work hard on the basics and improve customer service.

He added that their buying capabilities need work and that they will be engaging closely with their suppliers as a matter of urgency.

“Importantly, we need to rekindle customers’ affection for the Pick n Pay brand and energise our staff to focus their efforts on the critical road ahead,” he said.