In the six months from July to December last year, more than 25 million South African shoppers swiped their Xtra Savings cards over 238 million times at Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets, saving themselves more than R7bn on their grocery bills in the process. Not surprising, then, that the programme picked up another million members in the same period. Next up, another trading update, this time from Woolies, who saw Food sales increase +7.6% for the six months through December, with the revamped Fashion Beauty Home (FBH) division growing turnover somewhere northward of 11.2%. Online food sales grew a more muted +4.5%, while the financial services book grew +17.2% on the back of improved consumer spending, new business, and credit card advances. They’re expecting a, get this, +80% increase in HEPS for the period, with festive and Black Friday sales really coming to the party. Finally, Pick n Pay has selected Arizona-based Blue Yonder to help with its inventory, ranging and space planning capabilities, and will implement Blue Yonder’s SaaS-based category management solution for its grocery business, and allocation and assortment management solutions for the clothing business.
Comment: Nice work Woolies; we anticipate a solid year for the business as it shrugs off its Antipodean debacle.