Windhoek-One of the country’s leading retailers, Pick n Pay, has reported positive growth during the holiday season but has confirmed a slowdown in festive season sales. Norbert Wurm, Managing Director of Pick n Pay Namibia, believes the ability to still make a profit during tough economic times boils down to keeping price increases below inflation.
“With the economic slowdown we are grateful that we were still able to show positive growth during this festive season, albeit somewhat slower than in comparison to previous years. We believe this is as a result of our continued effort in keeping cost increases to our customers at below inflation levels and focusing on a fresh quality offering. As a result of the pressure on disposable income, consumer spending has changed somewhat in that consumers are contemplative about each dollar they spend, seeking out specials and promotions to stretch their monthly income,” said Wurm.
“With regard to business in general, comparing this festive season to previous years, it is evident that the persistent drought and economic slowdown have brought about some changes in consumer behaviour which businesses have had to deal with. In the last few months it has become increasingly apparent that consumers are tightening their belts and more aggressively seeking out options that maximise value. With dairy as an example, we see consumers still seeking the benefits of cultures and yoghurts, yet there purchase decisions have brought about some migration from the convenience of single serve offerings, to value offerings and family packs instead,” said O&L Group Corporate Relations Manager, Patricia Hoeksema.
Observing some of the trends in the retail sector, Wurm added that some slowdown was experienced in areas traditionally known as very busy during the festive season, such as the north and the coast, where consumer spending slowed, while other areas were much busier than anticipated.
“It is interesting to note the high demand for bargain deals as well as fresh food offerings, which is an indication that consumers are making considered and healthy choices, despite tough times. Understanding and meeting the ever-changing needs of our consumers is how we are there for our consumers, even during these tough times,” said Wurm.