Stocktake:  Shoprite launches mobile network

The Shoprite Group’s new cellular network, k’nect mobile, launches next month.

Love the innovation that is happening in the retail space. Once the trauma of Covid has passed and we can actually get on with things, the retail/marketing environment is going to be one of the most exciting with the acceleration of innovation in store and in ecommerce. Not a week goes past without a new service or innovative app being launched.

Shoprite launches k’nect mobile

The Shoprite Group’s new cellular network, k’nect mobile, launches next month. k’nect mobile will offer shoppers 100MB free data for three months, and flat call and data rates; and data will be zero-rated for selected apps and websites in the group’s ecosystem; customers will also earn extra if they are Xtra Savings members and recharge via the Money Market Account; and free data and airtime will be part of Shoprite, Checkers and Usave customer rewards. Other rewards include early access to Computicket events and tickets, and 100MB free for three months (six months for Xtra Savings members), subject to in-store RICA and activation. In a world where data access is a necessity, this move also means the Shoprite Group has positioned itself as a one-stop-shop for its customers. The Group says k’nect mobile’s key differentiator is simplicity, with flat call and data rates, and no complicated tiers. Airtime, data bundles and rewards only expire after 60 days, rather than the more common 30 day expiry.

At the same time, the move will help the Shoprite Group streamline communication and drastically reduce its internal data costs. Its 141,000 employees are now able to receive communications directly on the Group’s internal app (called SiyaRinga) without the need to reverse data costs. “k’nect mobile is part of our ever-growing suite of fintech products designed to better serve our customers. We’ve spent a lot of time understanding how a mobile network can add value to our customers’ lives, and our solution is an easy to understand network that offers straightforward call and data rates as well as tangible rewards,” says Jean Olivier, general manager: financial services. The prepaid cellular network has partnered with digital enabler FREI One Digital, and piggybacks off the mobile network infrastructure of Cell C.

‘Shop Local Shop Day’ from OneDayOnly

OneDayOnly has announced a dedicated ‘Shop Local Shop Day’ on Friday, 26 March; and have also pledged their support for ‘Restaurant Week XXL’ by offering engaged newsletter subscribers an exclusive, four-day head start to priority book at one of the Top 100 restaurants signed up to the initiative for 2021. By dedicating one of its busiest shopping days to focus on shopping local is part of the etailer’s support for small business. “20% of our 2000 plus suppliers are local,” says Laurian Venter, director for OneDayOnly. “Of our local top 20 suppliers, five began their journey with us as start-ups and are now producing bespoke items for our daily deals platform.” In the Restaurant Week XXL’ campaign consumers are offered a three-course meal from R245 per person, or a two-course meal from R145 per person. The campaign has been extended to an entire month from 1 April – 2 May 2021 and OneDayOnly opened their bookings last night ahead of the ‘official’ opening on 26 March. “Supporting local has always been a priority for our business. We have helped build local brands and want to continue doing that, so we urge those who’ve had to supplement their income over the last year by setting up their own ‘side hustle’, to get in touch to sell with us,” explains Venter.

Buy now, pay later at Payflex digital mall

Payflex has brought the ‘buy now pay later with zero interest shopping product’ to South Africa following its popularity in Australia, the USA and Europe. Payflex customers can shop at Africa’s largest digital mall which includes over 500 well-known stores like Cotton-on, Superbalist and The Pro Shop. Payments are split over four interest-free instalments. “Traditionally paying via instalments in South Africa has been associated with high interest charges, as you are penalised for paying for the item over time. But by using Payflex, every purchase you make is interest free. You’ll know exactly when each of the four interest-free payments are due and there are no hidden costs. It puts you in control of your finances,” says Paul Berhmann, CEO and founder of Payflex. How it works: You want to buy a watch for R1,000. You will pay R250 upfront (only 25% of the price) and the watch will be shipped to you immediately. You then pay an additional three R250 payments every two weeks for six weeks until the payment is complete. After partnering with ZipCo Australia, which has over 5.7 million customers, Payflex localised the best features of the world’s leading solutions in the buy now pay later (BNPL) space.. There are now over 500 online merchants on the digital mall.

This week in numbers

R2,065 billion

Plastics recycling injected R2,065 billion into the informal sector in 2019, creating 58 750 income opportunities. Plastics recycling also saved an estimated 244,300 tonnes of CO2 in 2019, the equivalent emissions of 51,000 cars in the same year. These are the findings of the annual South African Plastics Recycling Survey by Plastics SA, supported by the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) and packaging manufacturer Tuffy. The survey deals with 2019 data received from plastics re-processors and packaging industry associations like Plastics SA, PETCO and other stakeholders. The report reveals that in total, 503,600 tonnes of plastic waste were collected for recycling across the country, of which more than half (362,800 tonnes) consisted of packaging. Of this, 352,500 tonnes of plastics were converted back into raw materials in order to manufacture other products in 2019. Although these statistics represent progress, the report notes that South Africa produced almost 1,8 million tonnes of plastic products in the same period. The largest quantity (70,4%) of recyclables came from landfill and other post-consumer sources. Unlike other countries, recyclables in South Africa are mostly sourced from landfill at a high cost.

QUOTE of the week:

“In this new retail environment, any retailer that owns or leases space needs excellent customer analytics and quality data that supports the retail strategy and, more importantly, the personalised shopping experience. At the same time, any use of technology or data must be thought through so that it enhances, not complicates the customer journey. Do not automate for the sake of it particularly when personal human contact in-store is the priority. Thus, data is utilised by the staff to make the customer journey that much more personalised. This is where information gathered online, enhanced by in store history, can be used,” said Nompumelelo Mokou, Executive: Intelligent Customer Experience, Dimension Data, on Retailing Africa this week.


Main image credit: Photo by Elly Brian 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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