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Pick n Pay to invest in picking warehouse in Gauteng to cash in on online shopping ‘boom’

Pick n Pay is planning to invest into a dedicated picking warehouse in Gauteng as it looks to cash in on the surge in popularity of internet grocery shopping by customers in the country’s richest province. By Gugu Lourie

Turnover growth from Pick n Pay Online quickened to 38% over the year, with a stronger range and a substantial improvement in product availability, according to the company’s 2016 financial figures published on Tuesday.

The firm said its refurbished hypermarket stores are delivering stronger sales from less space, and are finding innovative alternative uses for freed-up space, including through rentals to other operators and conversion of space to other uses such as fulfilment of online grocery orders.

The supermarket chain’s online business in the Western Cape has already benefited from the dedicated picking warehouse established at the Brackenfell Hypermarket last year.

“The group will look to invest in a similar solution in the Gauteng region, towards the end of this year,” Pick n Pay informed investors on Tuesday.

In 2015, Pick n Pay’s online business delivered strong double-digit turnover growth, adding 40 000 new customers.

On Tuesday, Pick n Pay reported an 8.2% rise in turnover to R72.4 billion and gross profit rose by 8.6% to R12.9 billion for the year to end February 2016.

The supermarket chain also benefited from its loyalty programme, the Smart Shopper card that is swiped over 725 000 times a day in its stores. The food retailers said it rewarded its loyal Smart Shoppers with more savings than ever before, with 7.2 million personalised vouchers redeemed under the “Just for You” campaign.

“In addition, we increased the size of our “Instant Savings” campaign, enabling customers to earn an instant 10% savings off hundreds of products in-store and added a number of new and exciting partners to our “Partner Programme,” it said.

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