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Retail sector remains competitive

There are plans in place to open more Pick n Pay outlets in the country, as the company strives to increase its market share. According to Henry Feris, managing director of Pick n Pay, one more outlet is expected to open this year.
“It is a very competitive sector as all the large retail players are present in Namibia and each one is trying to increase their market share. Wal-Mart will also enter the Namibian market and is expected to be a significant player,” said Feris.
He further said Pick n Pay is in good standing and has recorded growth on the previous financial year.
“Pick n Pay Namibia has had a good year thus far with an outstanding growth on the previous year. This momentum has continued during our 2012 financial year, which will end on 30 June 2012,” Feris said.
During 2011, Model Pick n Pay’s results improved significantly, contributing an earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of N$15.1 million compared to N$5.1 million the previous year to the Ohlthaver & List Group. This upsurge was mainly due to an increase in turnover, improved margins and rigorous focus on in-store execution. It achieved a 15% turnover growth for the 2011 financial year.
The operation achieved a commendable growth in EBIT of 196%, mainly due to the sales growth and operational efficiency and improvements.
The Pick n Pay Group is a wholly Namibian owned company which forms part of the the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies. Model Pick n Pay currently employs 1450 people, while the Ohlthaver & List Group employs about 4800. The franchise opened its first store in 1997; since then, the number has grown to 17 established stores across the country.
Although the outlook for the company is positive, there are challenges facing the overall retail sector. These challenges include the rising fuel prices, said Feris.
“The rising oil prices is fuelling inflation as we see the price of commodities increasing on a daily basis – which ultimately increases competitiveness in the retail sector. The other big challenge the retail sector is faced with is “shrinkage”, which is defined as financial losses to the business caused by theft, collusion and administration inefficiencies as well,” he said.
Pick n Pay is involved in many social responsibility programmes and is supporting the Cancer Association of Namibia, orphanages, old age homes and schools.

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