Checkers Sixty60 grows sales by 63%

Shoprite, South Africa’s biggest supermarket group, on Tuesday reported a nearly 14% jump in its half-year sales, supported by a record Black Friday and festive season as cash-strapped shoppers and upmarket consumers went after food deals.

Its market-leading on-demand online shopping platform, Sixty60, showed robust growth, with sales jumping by 63.1% year on year, it said. It’s the first reporting period from Shoprite to include Sixty60’s new Amazon Prime-style subscription service, called Checkers Xtra Savings Plus, that offers free grocery deliveries for orders over R350 and additional in-store discounts for R99/month.

Shoprite, with more than 2 900 stores across Africa, said group sales for the six-month period ended 31 December rose to R121.1-billion. Sales in the company’s second quarter, which includes November and the Christmas holiday period, rose 14.6%.

Cash-strapped shoppers, hit by high interest rates and inflation, are spending less on discretionary items like clothes and shoes and more on food and essentials.

“Sustained high level of execution and continued customer momentum together with record Black Friday and festive season trade has extended the period of uninterrupted market share gains achieved by our core South African supermarket brands to 58 months,” the retailer said.

The group’s core business, Supermarkets South Africa, which contributes about 80.5% to the top line, witnessed a 14.6% jump in sales, also benefiting from the acquisition of 94 stores bought from Walmart-owned Massmart. Like-for-like sales climbed 6.3%.

High cost of load shedding

Sales in rest of its stores in Africa rose 6.2% in South African rand terms and by 20% in constant currency.

Like its peers, Shoprite is grappling with severe rolling power cuts, forcing it to crank up diesel generators and spend more on back-up power supplies, adding to soaring costs for raw materials, transport and packaging.

Read: Pick n Pay asap! ups the ante in fight with Checkers Sixty60

The power outages resulted in diesel expenses of R500-million in the reported period.  — (c) 2024 Reuters, with additional reporting (c) 2024 NewsCentral Media

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