Retailer Pick n Pay’s Group CEO Sean Summers on Thursday unveiled a key strategic plan to rejuvenate growth at the retailer as he restructured his senior leadership team and announced a new retail division.
It said in a statement on Thursday , “Pick n Pay will undergo an immediate structural adjustment to allow it to focus with clarity on customers, buying, store execution and the store estate,” it said.
The retailer said the new Pick n Pay Retail division would focus on retail at Pick n Pay, which needed the most attention. PnP Retail is effectively a standalone business, with Franchise now falling under it.
Pick n Pay also aimed to ensure its Online, Boxer and Clothing growth drivers continued to deliver.
Summers had appointed a Group Executive of six members, with a strong mix of experience and energy.
Three of the Group Executive are women, including Group chief financial officer Lerena Olivier, chief people officer Thembi Mbengashe, and managing executive for Clothing Hazel Pillay.
“Hazel has produced stellar results at Clothing and her position on the Group Executive is well earned,” the retailer said.
Pick n Pay said streamlining reporting lines allowed Summers to lead effectively, focused on the future, with highly experienced retailers reporting directly to him in six focused areas.
Summers said, “These changes will allow us to focus with clarity on the job at hand. This includes creating a new, dedicated head of Retail, regionalising our Retail division to allow a much sharper focus on our customers, and the creation of a dedicated Commercial section to focus on our products across the retail spectrum.”
Summers said, “With six reports, I can now focus properly on the next three years and build for the future. The new structure will enable clarity of leadership across our business, with seasoned professionals in charge. Our people have been moved into position and will now be playing to their strengths.”
Dallas Langman was appointed to the newly created position of managing executive of the Pick n Pay retail division.
Pick n Pay said Langman (54) had been with the Group for 34 years, having most recently been managing executive of the Rest of Africa division. Prior to this, his extensive experience included senior management roles within Pick n Pay Supermarkets, Hypermarkets, and Franchise.
“Langman is respected for his ability to drive consistent operational standards and team performance, and will work closely with Summers to lead a step-change in the performance of the core Pick n Pay retail business,” it said.
Johan Grobler would take over Rest of Africa leadership from Dallas and have additional responsibility for Value Added Services and Tomis, the newly acquired meat producing and processing facility. Grobler (57) had been with the Group for 32 years, most recently being Head of Fresh Produce and Trade within Pick n Pay Retail.
Marek Masojada remained Boxer managing executive.
These six appointments were from within the business, enabling senior executives to hit the ground running in their respective portfolios, the retailer said.
New retail division
The retailer explained the the actual trading in franchise would fall under Retail, which is where it should be.
The customer would now see one Pick n Pay with the same execution and the same operational standards as corporate owned stores. It would now be a seamless experience for customers, it said.
“Relationships with our suppliers are strengthening at pace. The new Commercial division under Pick n Pay Retail will enjoy the attention of two seasoned experts in buying across Food, Fresh and General Merchandise.”
“Boxer is an incredible business and Marek has done a superlative job. We foresee even greater things for Boxer under his continued leadership.”
Thembi Mbengashe was to head up HR for Retail, and services the Group Executive team. She would work closely with Summers on succession planning for the CEO and the entire senior management team, with a keen focus on our transformation objectives.
Five regional heads had been appointed to get much closer to customers, as well as a head of Retail Hypermarkets.
Pick n Pay said the regions were where the trading decisions would now be made.
In October the retailer reported in its trading profit for the 26-week period, a 97.5% loss, which was R31.8 million compared with R1.3 billion in the comparable 2022 period.
At the time Pick n Pay’s share price dropped by nearly 15% on the announcement, which its new CEO Summers labelled as “disappointing” due to elevated load-shedding costs and an increased competitive intensity.
* Please note this is a developing story and Business Report print will unpack this latest development.