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Pick n Pay CEO: We had no choice but to offer voluntary retrenchment

The company has confirmed that workers were offered packages as the company cites harsh economic conditions.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher says the company was left with no choice but to offer voluntary retrenchment to employees, with 3,500 employees leaving the business.

The company has confirmed that workers were offered packages as the company cites harsh economic conditions.

Brasher says the process, which began in April, was in the best interests of the business.

“They still have long-term incentives, which I’m confident they will, but I think in terms of cutting things back, we did decide in our 50th year that this was an opportunity to put our business properly in shape and make sure we gave it back to the people who we absolutely need to be on our side, which is the customers.”

Pick n Pay expects its headline earnings per share for the half-year to fall by more than 20%, the company said.

But payroll savings from the second half of the year will neutralise the effect of the retrenchment costs on its full-year results, Pick n Pay said.

"In subsequent years, the reduction in employee numbers will have a significant positive impact on the operating costs of the group, creating additional headroom to reduce prices and improve value for customers," the company said.

Pick n Pay, founded 50 years ago, also has operations in Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Namibia.

Jobs will be cut at head office, in the company's regional structure, store operations and in its supply chain.

"These roles and functions were no longer required due to improvements in organisation, planning and technology," Pick n Pay said.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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