Stocktake: Covid vaccine rollout begins

South Africa begins its official rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to the general populace today.

It is simply incredible that within a year we already have vaccines being administered for the COVID-19 pandemic. While the necessary push for vaccine equality continues on the global stage, South Africa begins its official rollout of the vaccine to the general populace today.

Dis-Chem confirms vaccination rollout

Dis-Chem Pharmacies announced that it is ready to vaccinate 800,000 South Africans a month. Dis-Chem has so far secured 32 dedicated vaccination sites situated nationwide at key locations, 11 of which will be ready to commence vaccinations in the week of 24 May. These dedicated sites will be able to administer an average of 600 vaccinations per day, and this can be extended with the addition of Dis-Chem’s in-store clinics, with each store capable of administering up to 50 shots daily.  Should government stock be readily available, the group will be able to vaccinate approximately 800,000 people each month. Qualified vaccinators will be on call, all of whom have undergone full Department of Health knowledge hub vaccination training, including updated training modules on both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Pfizer stock has been allocated to Dis-Chem as the group has the necessary infrastructure to manage its extreme handling conditions. The vaccinators will be supported by a team of volunteers to regulate the flow of patients and manage the stringent administrative requirements.

Dis-Chem has negotiated with landlords to utilise empty premises in centres where the group has a retail pharmacy presence. Each site has been fully equipped with all the required fixtures including refrigeration units, technology and emergency equipment to ensure a thorough and complete vaccine process. “We are well-positioned to commence with the vaccination roll-out aligned to government timelines, and we have prepared our teams to work at full capacity if supply from government is consistent,” says CEO Ivan Saltzman.

Dis-Chem’s vaccine roll-out will be linked to government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) which enables electronic registration, co-ordinates accredited vaccination sites and supply of vaccines, enables a pre-booking and vaccination system, and records who is and isn’t vaccinated, as well as any information that will help the department with planning, execution and monitoring of the vaccination. Because the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, Dis-Chem will have a two-week advance view on bookings to ensure that the second dosage is administered timeously. “From the start of the pandemic we put up our hands to assist government via testing stations and our commitment to partnering with government to fight this pandemic remains steadfast. The vaccination roll-out provides us with another opportunity to continue to play a role in supporting the Dept of Health via its roll-out programme while continuing to serve our community,” Saltzman says.

Construction begins at the R500 million Boardwalk Mall in ECape

Flanagan & Gerard Group and Emfuleni Resorts, a subsidiary of Sun International, have officially commenced construction of Boardwalk Mall in Gqeberha (formerly PE). Two-thirds of the mall’s development site in the Boardwalk Precinct transferred to commercial real estate developers, Flanagan & Gerard Group last month, with Emfuleni Resorts holding the remaining third. At the same time, the plans for Boardwalk Mall received all the necessary approvals, clearing the way for the construction. Together, the project partners are investing R500 million into this major development in Gqeberha. Building on the success and strong community roots of the landmark Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World, Boardwalk Mall is an extension and upgrade of the Boardwalk Precinct, which will more than double its retail space to 23,000sqm. It is the first phase of a 17-hectare redevelopment that is strategically, economically and socially significant for its city and region.

Boardwalk Mall’s first phase is set to be completed and launched on 9 December 2021. The official opening, which marks the second phase’s completion, is scheduled for 22 September 2022. The mall  will offer a refreshed array of 80 stores. Big names in retail include Checkers and Checkers Liquorshop, Pick n Pay and Pick n Pay Liquor, Woolworths, Clicks, Dis-Chem and NuMetro. In addition, the mall’s tenant mix includes, The Magic Company, Spur, Fishaways, Debonairs, Steers, Wimpy, Ackermans, Pick n Pay Clothing and the Crazy Store. The Capital Hotel Group lobby will enter from the mall. This will be complemented by the Boardwalk Precinct, including events at the new Sun Park Square.

Supa Quick’s new brand identity

Tyre fitment centre group Supa Quick is refreshing its brand offering to offer a more sophisticated experience through a differentiated look and market position. Launching in May 2021, around 200 fitment centres are expected to onboard the new look-and-feel over the next few years, from in-store design, corporate assets, processes and philosophy. The designers behind the creative look-and-feel are Willem Viljoen and Seyurie Naidoo, from A|Seylem DSGN CNSLTNCY. “In a highly saturated and competitive market, our branding is our greatest asset in the fight for customer recognition,” says Morne Dreyer, Supa Quick’s franchise director. In addition to the modernisation of its corporate identity and visual image, the franchise is updating its positioning from “Tyre Experts Closer to You” to “More Than Tyre Experts”. Tyres are still Supa Quick’s core business, but since first launching in South Africa in 1986, it has come to be known for much more, expanding its technical expertise to also include brakes, shocks, batteries, exhausts, wiper blades and various specialised services. The stores converting to the new look and feel will also introduce a new coffee offering named “Supa Coffee”. Stores will have different sized set-ups depending on the requirements of their local market, ranging from a small coffee station to a full-on coffee shop.

This week in numbers


South African consumers tend to have fewer credit accounts compared to other emerging markets. More than half (53%) of credit-active consumers have only one credit product in their wallets. One in four (24.5%) have two credit products. Only one in 10 (10.4%) have four or more. In Colombia, which is a like-for-like comparison in terms of population size and market characteristics, only 40% of credit-active consumers have one credit account, and nearly a quarter (23.5%) have four or more. This is according to an ongoing study by TransUnion which researches the loyalty effect of multiple account dynamics—the impact of having multiple relationships with a lender on the South African consumer wallet. Transunion analysis suggests that as credit needs rise with the age of a consumer, there is an opportunity to cross-sell and gain loyalty. Of consumers holding more than four accounts, 11.4% are Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and 16.9% are Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980). The youngest and oldest consumers tend to have fewer credit products, for different reasons: older generations are de-leveraging; while consumers in younger cohorts are still building credit. This means there’s an opportunity for lenders to build loyalty during early years of a consumer’s credit lifecycle.

QUOTE of the week:

“Creating a comfortable space that empowers women in ALL areas, not only acts as a springboard for them to excel in what they do, but it also takes away from the intimidation faced from wanting to tend to their daily responsibilities,” said Nino Naidoo, who is heading up Duchess, part of The Duke Group, on Retailing Africa this past week.


Main image credit: Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash.


*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:



Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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