Stocktake: Vaccinate frontline retail staff says Shoprite

Vaccinate retail frontline staff now, pleads Shoprite, as infections rise in South Africa’s Covid third wave.

As the pandemic third wave hits South Africa hard in its economic hub, Shoprite is leading calls for retail frontline workers to be vaccinated soon – and will even source and pay for its own vaccines.

Shoprite makes urgent plea to vaccinate frontline retail workers

The Shoprite Group is urgently calling on Government to allow its more than 140,000 employees, who serve over 25 million people a month, to receive vaccinations as the third wave of COVID-19 increases in severity. The supermarket group is South Africa’s largest private sector employer, and believes it is critical that Government prioritises the allocation of vaccines to its frontline workers, which it will even source and administer at its own cost and through its own logistics and pharmaceutical infrastructure. Announcing new Level 4 restrictions due to the third wave on 27 June 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa focused on “mining, manufacturing and the taxi industry” for the fourth stream of vaccination programmes. “Our frontline workers, including cashiers, merchandisers and line management retail workers, have been at work every day since the onset of the pandemic, working tirelessly to ensure we provide food, essential groceries and medicine to the nation,” says CEO Pieter Engelbrecht. “Our people interact with 25 million customers coming into our stores every month, and we strongly believe that they should be prioritised, and we are ready to roll out vaccinations on behalf of government to our employees.”

Dis-Chem’s on-demand DeliverD launches

Dis-Chem Pharmacies has announced the launch of its same-day on-demand delivery service, offering delivery within 60 minutes; and giving customers access to a wide range of 7,000 items across health, nutrition, beauty, cosmetic and electrical products. The launch of Dis-Chem’s DeliverD service will be trialled in selected stores across Johannesburg and other major metropolitan areas before being extended to other regions aligned to Dis-Chem’s footprint. Initially, a limited range of front shop products – health, nutrition, beauty, cosmetics, electrical and baby ranges – will be available during the trial pilot phase. “Dis-Chem DeliverD complements our existing online offering, and this development taps directly into understanding what our customers want, central to which is convenience. We have seen significant online growth in the past 12 months and the on-going customer demand for quick, same-day on-line service was a key driver behind the introduction of this offering,” says Saul Saltzman, executive director at Dis-Chem. Saltzman says delivery times will depend on customer needs, location and availability of slots. The trial phase will give Dis-Chem time to refine the offering. Dis-Chem DeliverD will initially be available to customers situated within 10km of the trial stores in Gauteng, Garden Route, Cape Town and Durban. Customers can access DeliverD via Dis-Chem’s existing app.

New concept Under Armour store at Canal Walk

Apollo Brands Pty Ltd. (official distributors of Under Armour in South Africa) has unveiled its latest speciality concept store located at Canal Walk in Cape Town. The new Brand House features 218 sqm of retail space and delivers a fully immersive brand experience, telling the brand story through displays designed to inform and inspire customers. With a brand that makes fitness accessible to all using technology-driven solutions, the latest Under Armour Brand House offers customers advice and solutions that are tailored to their unique training, running or sporting needs, including technical footwear, compression, apparel and accessories. The new store also features a plus size mannequin range and a women-only bra bar. “We are thrilled to have opened our third Brand House in the Mother City and officially our 16th store nationwide, offering shoppers an unparalleled shopping experience. The global pandemic continues to affect so many sectors and therefore we are proud that we are able to make such a bold move considering the current economic climate,” says Gareth Kemp, MD of Apollo Brands.

Builders’ offering now includes payments

Leaders in DIY and home improvements, Builders, have extended their offering to now include services such as money transfers, insurance and municipality bill payments, buying gas, vouchers, and even airline and bus tickets, as well as home improvement credit solutions. Over the years, South African retailers have expanded their offerings to more than just facilitating the purchase of products or services that they offer. Today, customers have access to a multitude of additional services that add value to their overall shopping experience. Benefit programs and till point services have now extended and are rising in popularity due to their nature of helping customers do more  ‘life-admin’, which ultimately saves them time. Says Janet Booysen, head of marketing at Builders, “This year we’ve upped our value-added services, enabling customers to save time by doing everything they would normally do at a number of outlets, all at once at Builders store tills.” Services include iKhokha devices for small business owners wanting to expand their payment options from cash only or EFT, to allow for card payment for their customers.

This week in numbers


SA’s online shoppers clearly love ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL) and overwhelmingly choose it over standard payment or credit options. BNPL provider in South Africa, Payflex, found that over 80% of customers surveyed spend more at an online store if BNPL is offered. More than 90% shop more frequently at an online store with Payflex available and almost 80% would not have made their most recent online purchase if not for the BNPL offering. Paul Behrmann, Payflex CEO, says that in the past year, purchase values for BNPL have been 30%-50% higher than for purchases paid in full up-front or on credit. Merchants still receive payment within 24 hours whether the customer chooses a Payflex buy now option or a BNPL option.

QUOTE of the week:

“There are signs of a retail recovery propped up by social commerce. Retail sales [in the US] this spring exploded — 18.3% growth over May 2020 — led by sporting goods, clothing and food and beverages. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are making strides in digital customer experience, including reaching customers on social media platforms. One of the biggest retail trends this year is social commerce, where users make purchases from within apps, such as Instagram and Facebook,” said Tom Kaneshige, chief content officer at the global CMO Council, on Retailing Africa this past week.

Main image credit: Shoprite.


*Stocktake is a weekly roundup of current FMCG retailing and brand news, curated and edited by Retailing Africa Publisher & Editor, Louise Burgers. Keep the industry updated and send your announcements and news to:


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