MORE than 300 Shoprite Holdings and Pick n Pay stores were hit by looters and burnt in last week’s civil unrest and riots in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the companies said yesterday in separate statements.
Shoprite and Pick n Pay are the latest retailers to tally the damage to their stores after Woolworths, Spar, Mr Price, Massmart, The Foschini Group and Pepkor announced that several of their outlets and distribution centres had been badly damaged.
Shoprite, Africa’s retail giant, said of the 1 189 supermarkets trading under the Shoprite, Usave, Checkers and Checkers Hyper brands, 119 stores – including 64 Shoprite, 44 Usave, six Checkers and one Checkers Hyper – had been severely affected as a result of looting and fire damage.
Out of the 537-store South African LiquorShop business, currently restricted from trading under Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown regulations, 54 stores had been impacted, and 35 out of the 340 South African furniture division stores were severely damaged by vandalism, looting and/or fire.
“A considerable number of stores in the affected regions were closed during the week for precautionary reasons, the majority of which have been re-opened as reflected by 292 stores currently trading. Stores not directly impacted that remain closed are almost entirely a result of landlords keeping centres closed,” said Shoprite.
The group also said of the 444 South Africa-based OK franchise stores, 16 were damaged due to vandalism, looting and or fire. All but two have since re-opened.
Shoprite said the Gauteng-based distribution centre had operated seamlessly throughout, to the extent that it delivered goods to KZN operations from as early as Thursday last week.
Meanwhile, Pick n Pay said 136 stores across the group were looted and/or damaged by fire, including 68 Pick n Pay stores and 68 Boxer stores. In addition, 76 liquor stores across Pick n Pay and Boxer were looted and/or burned.
Pick n Pay said of the 136 stores looted, 32 had already been cleaned, repaired and have either been reopened or would reopen by the end of this week. The liquor stores which were looted were also ready to be reopened when Covid-19 regulations were relaxed.