There has been mention in the press of late that Pick n Pay are Flailing. Subjective opinion of course, but echoed out across the interwebs by many. Objectively, they had their first loss in a financial year ever. Not one to just let this time in history pass me by, I think I will add my two cents, because I have already mentioned Woolworths, and Discovery in regards to their loyalty schemes, and may as well visit Pick n Pay in this regard, and more broadly, too. If you’re wondering, then yes, I will probably get to Checkers before the end of the year as well – as that would only be fair.

I think Pick n Pay lost the plot a long time ago, and I have almost no clue as to why because I was too busy living my life. The little I can tell is that:

  • Their food quality isn’t always the best, though in some areas they are clear leaders
  • They didn’t seem to take the threat from Checkers very seriously – a threat that emerged (I am guessing) around 2018 or 2019. I recall vividly seeing their new, world-class shops and thinking “This is the best of Woolworths and the best of Pick n Pay rolled into one!”. Those big shops are still magnificent. Well played.
  • Checkers Sixty60 (scooter delivery of goods for R35) was a game changer, and still is. The timing pre-covid was a godsend (for both them and those wanting to avoid shops) and that for me, was pure luck: but also, let’s be real, one “plans for luck”, so well done on them being ready for the once in a century scenario. Pick n Pays equivalent isn’t comig close to them – in fact, I don’t even know what it is called?! I am sure I can work it out…
  • Their staff have possibly the worst attitude out of the major retailers. I’d say it goes: Woolworths, Spar, Checkers, PnP. I am sure some little stores sit at the end of both spectrums, but am just looking at the big guys today. This has been evident since the berlin wall fell. Jokes, but it feels like it, I’d say at least 15 years of such an attitude from so many of them. It’s like it is the company culture. Either they are treated in a way that makes them behave like that (ie. badly) or, they are treated too well (hear me out) in a sense that they can do anything and never suffer consequences. I am raising a child at present: wow, your behaviour is 99% of the reason you see any behaviour in your child – I’m sure it’s not entirely different.
  • They probably don’t innovate enough – and try be ahead of the rest.
  • They likely don’t keep doing the basics right (maybe, I could be wrong)
  • Their rewards and points system is insulting every time you use it – the other day I spent ~R900 and got perhaps R6 back. A friend had one occasion that was far worse: she spent ~R180 and got about 5-10c back! I mean it’s brand-damaging! She een posted the image of the slip on Facebook! Data EQ (formerly Brandseye must have licked their little lamb chops).

I think there is a way out of this

Apart from what I wrote above, there are probably 1,000 micro changes they can make, but for the most part: they need to make some changes super urgently!