No plans to retrench workers – Pick n Pay Namibia

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Edgar Brandt

Windhoek-Pick n Pay Namibia says it has no current plans of firing any of its workers following the recent massive retrenchment of 3,500 employees at Pick n Pay South Africa.

However, the local retail giant cautioned that it would always do what is “necessary” to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business.

Pick n Pay South Africa (PnP SA) on Monday said it had cut 10 percent of its workforce, about 3,500 people, in a bid to curb costs in a South African economy that is battling recession.

“Please note that the recent references to job cuts at PnP SA related to a Voluntary Severance Programme (VSP) which was announced earlier this year in South Africa, and concluded by the end of April 2017. It was entirely voluntary, and members of staff were free to decide for themselves whether to apply or not.  The VSP has helped reduce business costs and in so doing pass the benefit of better value to customers,” explained the managing director of Pick n Pay Namibia, Norbert Wurm.

He added that the VSP was restricted to Pick n Pay SA’s Corporate Division and does not relate to franchises or independently run Pick n Pay family stores, such as Pick n Pay Namibia, which is fully owned by the Ohlthaver and List Group. 

“At the moment there are no retrenchments on the cards, however, as always, the business will always do what is necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business as a whole in order to enhance customer value,” said Wurm.

According to PnP SA’s chief executive, Richard Brasher, the VSP was one of several steps taken by PnP SA to make its business more competitive in a tough trading environment. South Africa’s economy has been troubled by sluggish growth, record unemployment and low investor confidence. Last year, the continent’s most advanced economy grew a mere 0.3 percent and slipped into recession in the first quarter of this year.

Established in 1967, Pick n Pay is South Africa’s second largest supermarket chain and boasts more than 1,500 outlets. It has expanded across Africa, including operations in Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia and Zambia.

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