Pick n Pay CEO describes the supermarket of the future

Pick n Pay CEO Sean Summers said the food store of the future will require far less floor space and focus on products suited to in-store experiences.

Summers told delegates at the 2024 BizNews Conference that traditional supermarkets were designed for direct-to-store deliveries of goods.

This direct-to-store delivery model meant there was a 60/40 split in floorspace – 60% for trading and 40% for backup to support your trading area.

However, the model has changed. Retail chains have replaced suppliers delivering products directly to stores with a direct store distribution model.

This means the additional 40% floor space to hold stock to support the trading area in supermarkets is no longer needed.

Another big change is that the spike in month-end shopping that occurred after people got paid has disappeared.

Summers said the availability of credit cards and other funding mechanisms has flattened out the month-end shopping spree.

These changes have a big impact on the size of food stores and supermarkets. “Today, your average supermarket can be 50% smaller than previously,” he said.

“The supermarkets of the future will definitely be much smaller and more compact. You just don’t need the extra space,” he said.

Another big change is that less space will be dedicated to everyday items like toilet paper, washing powder, dishwashing liquid, and other household items.

These items are suited to be bought online and delivered to people’s homes through eCommerce services like Pick n Pay ASAP!.

More space will be dedicated to the “art of retail”, including in-store consumption products like coffee.

More emphasis will be placed on areas like bakeries, fish shops, cheese bars, and delicatessens. “You have to be on your game in these areas,” Summers said.

“That is ultimately where the art of retail will be. It is about having good coffee and baristas and good quality food to consume in the stores.”

“It is all about the experience,” Summers said.

Inside a next-generation Pick n Pay store

Pick n Pay has previously explained that its flagship store On Nicol is an example of its signature next-generation stores.

The next-generation stores are designed to offer an improved shopping experience for customers.

The store includes a number of new speciality areas, including sections focusing on freshly squeezed juice, a chocolatier, and a dedicated coffee station.

There is also a customised wine cellar, fishmonger, high-end bakery, and a prepared food section.

It also offers a wellness zone where customers can access patient care from PnP pharmacy staff and get clinic services through the MyLife Healthcare Centre.

The photos below show the inside of the next-generation Pick n Pay store.


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