Pick n Pay has become the first South African retailer to drop barrier bags from its till points. Barrier bags are those diaphanous smaller receptacles that separate selected items like fresh produce, toiletries or cleaning products, from the other groceries in your stash, and they are currently not recycled. While you’ll still be able to get them in the produce section, the move should prevent over 20 million of them from entering the environment. Sticking with Pick n Pay for the moment, the news comes this week that Jonathan Ackerman is taking early retirement as an executive director on the Pick n Pay board effective the end of March. The youngest scion of that noble line has held important leadership positions across many areas, most notably marketing and store operations, and was known as a champion of the consumer. He will assume a non-exec position, and serve on the Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee. Finally, Equites Property Fund, an owner and developer of prime logistics assets in SA and the UK, will spend R1.16bn on acquiring and developing a prime logistics park for retailer Shoprite in the verdant hills of coastal KwaZulu-Natal. Completed, the site will offer 103,000m2 of prime logistics featuring renewable energy, water efficiency or gathering installations, and energy-saving lighting.
Comment: Sometimes, the scale and growth of Shoprite’s operations is all one needs to provide a glimmer of confidence in our economic future.