We are committed to stop the virus  

The Shoprite Group is committed to adhere to the strict measures put in place by the South African government following President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of a National State of Disaster on 15 March 2020, and are following any directives to stay abreast of information and required actions to be taken in relation to the effect of Covid-19 on its employees, operations and customers. 

It is tracking the guidelines and advisory updates of the World Health Organisation, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and it is also participating in discussions with the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa, which facilitates guidance to the retail and wholesale industry on shared challenges, to navigate and mitigate any issues that may arise.

A special Shoprite Group executive level task committee, under the leadership of CEO Pieter Engelbrecht, convenes every 24 hours to report on progress made in the various departments of the business with contingency plans and new procedures deployed as required by the developing crisis. 

These comprehensive plans are in place across the business to cover contingencies including supply chain disruption, product sourcing, additional hygiene and cleansing procedures, and education on prevention.

 

 


Frequently Asked Questions:  


 

Here are some of the measures that have been implemented across the Group’s operations to protect the well-being of its employees, customers and communities:  

Product  

Our distribution centres are fully stocked.

  • Given the unprecedented demand, there are some gaps on store shelves, but new stock is arriving daily and the Group is working around the clock to keep shelves stocked.

  • It is liaising with suppliers locally and across the globe to track and monitor orders and shipments to meet the current increase in consumer demand.

  • Order volumes have been increased and warehouses have sufficient stock to replenish store shelves, however new and additional suppliers are also being sourced.

  • The Group appealed to customers not to stockpile and to buy only what they and their families need, so that others are not left without much-needed items.

  • Stockpiling will hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

  • Some items are out of stock due to import restrictions or delays. Plans are being made to ensure that additional stock is secured as soon as possible. 

  • The demand for immune boosters is abnormally high around the world and producers are under pressure to manufacture required volumes.

  • As consumers have not heeded the call to refrain from stockpiling, unfortunately rationing the sale of certain products has become necessary. This includes toilet paper, tissues, wipes, liquid soap, hand sanitizer as well as some tinned foods, cereals, antiseptic disinfectant liquids, medicines and vitamins.

  • Demand is closely monitored and other limits may be applied where necessary.

  • During lockdown Sixty60 orders have been limited to a maximum of 30 items in total and individual products are limited to three per customer. This facilitates quicker order fulfillment and enables more customers to be served with necessities at home.

     

  • The sale of alcohol and cigarettes are strictly prohibited during the lockdown and have been blocked at till points.
  • Off-consumption premises (including Shoprite and Checkers LiquorShops) and areas in a supermarket where liquor is sold will be closed for the duration of the lockdown.

  • These actions are informed by the Government's lockdown regulations.
  • Product pricing will not change. 

  • The Group continues to act in the best interest of its consumers and is working closely with suppliers to ensure that additional stock is secured at affordable prices in order to meet the increased demand.
  • All promotional advertising has been placed on hold. Current specials are advertised on the website and will be clearly marked in stores.

 

  • Demand has increased for sanitary (including toilet paper), hygiene and baby products, dry pasta, UHT milk, tinned foods, immune boosters and vitamins.
  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have stated that there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the Coronavirus.
  • It is spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

  • As an extra safety precaution, products that were previously available via self-service are now bagged or tubbed to limit the number of people handling food items.

  • Shoprite and Checkers employees working with food follow strict hygiene measures, including regular washing of hands and surfaces.

  • Customers ordering from the coffee kiosk and/or sushi bars in Checkers stores are kindly requested not to make use of the sit-down areas.

  •  Sixty60 will continue to deliver groceries and household essentials during the lockdown period but deliveries may take longer than an hour given the high order volumes which impacts delivery speed.
  • During lockdown orders have been limited to a maximum of 30 items in total and individual products are limited to three per customer.

  • Steps have also been taken to ensure contactless deliveries are made at customers’ homes.

  • Product pricing in the app is the same as what customers would pay in-store. At the moment there is no delivery fee and Sixty60 will continue to offer this service free-of-charge until 16 April. A R35 delivery fee will be introduced thereafter. 
  • Checkers Food Services are also delivering essentials including bread and milk as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • All confirmed orders will be supplied within 24 hours.

  • This service is currently available in selected areas in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

 


Stores  


  •  During the lockdown period, all Shoprite, Checkers and Usave supermarkets will trade from 07h00 to 18h00 from Mondays to Sundays.
  • Some stores are operating with fewer employees given the current transport restrictions, but we are looking at ways to assist our people to get to work safely.

  • Money Market counters continue to offer customers essential financial services including money transfers, bill payments as well as airtime and data purchases.

  • Crowd control will be implemented at store level and measures will vary from store to store.

  • The Group continues to look at ways to reach communities with essential groceries and recently established a mobile Usave store, which will relocate daily.

  • This pilot project has been well received by customers and we are looking at ways to grow this initiative to further assist communities. 

  • At least 30% of the stock in the mobile Usave store are Ubrand private label products and pricing remains the same as what customers would pay in-store. 


Hygiene  


  • The importance of strict hygiene and hand-washing procedures, as well as the clean-as-you-go principle (where surfaces are constantly cleaned and disinfected whilst working) have been reinforced with all store personnel.

  • Customers can also make use of the spray bottles at till points apart from the wipes provided at each store entrance for use on hands and trolley and basket handles. 

  • Spray bottles with disinfectant have been deployed at all till points and are used by cashiers and packers to sanitise the entire till surface (including pin pads) and their own hands.

  • Supermarkets have sani wipes available at entrances for customers to wipe their hands, basket holders and trolley handles. If stock shortages are experienced with sani wipes, stores have been requested to make appropriate concentrates of disinfectant available to customers in spray bottles for these purposes.

  • Employees are trained to follow good personal hygiene and product handling practices which have been in place since before the Coronavirus outbreak. This is monitored through regular independent audits.

  • All employees are being provided with personal protective equipment in the form of a plastic face shield rolling out to stores and distribution centres from Thursday, 2 April 2020.

  • Unlike regular face masks, the shields can be washed and sanitised regularly. Clear safety guides are provided and staff will adhere to an hourly sanitation routine.

  • The use of masks and gloves are not encouraged, with the exception of pharmacy employees.

  • The WHO (World Health Organisation) urges people to use masks wisely and states that masks should only be worn by people who have the symptoms (especially coughing) or if they are looking after someone who may be infected given the world-wide shortage of masks.

  • The WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and mis-use of masks.

  • The mask is not an effective barrier to prevent infection and may even retain germs that can cause illness.

  • The WHO maintains that regular hand washing offers more protection than wearing rubber gloves.

  • While gloves can protect hands from coming into contact with the liquid droplets from the virus, the droplets will still stay on the gloves. This increases the risk of catching the virus as people may touch their face or food with their gloves, and risk passing it on to others.


People  


  • Various messages on the importance of hygiene and safety are shared ongoingly, with the emphasis on prevention. 
  • Numerous communication channels are used to inform and educate all about how the virus can be stopped. 

  • These include the simple steps of hand-washing, no touching of the face, social distancing and more. 

  • Posters and Radio Retail (an in-store broadcast channel) is used to simultaneously share these messages with millions of customers.

  • Procedures, information and reminders are shared regularly and continuously reinforced.

  • These include the importance of strict hygiene and hand-washing procedures, as well as the clean-as-you-go principle (where surfaces are constantly cleaned and disinfected whilst working). 

  • All employees have access to a 24-hour helpline which offers guidance and information on health, well-being and trauma to employees and their immediate families.

  • Daily temperature testing of employees takes place at all distribution centres, stores and offices.

  • Mobile clinics are being rolled out and if an employee has a high temperature, he/she will visit the mobile clinic for a consultation and, if necessary, will be referred for further testing.

  • Shop floor and distribution centre employees received a once-off R102 million appreciation bonus for their tireless efforts.

  • Hand sanitizer for personal use is being issued to all employees.

  • Store employees are served a free hot meal daily.

  • Social distancing is encouraged and, where possible, the work-from-home policy is being strictly enforced with meetings taking place via Hangouts, video or tele conferencing and not in person.

  • In line with the government’s regulations for the lockdown period, OK Furniture stores may not operate as it is not considered an essential service. OK Furniture employees will temporarily be transferred to a Shoprite or Checkers supermarket.

  • All employees are being provided with personal protective equipment in the form of a plastic face shield rolling out to stores and distribution centres from Thursday, 2 April 2020.

  • Unlike regular face masks, the shields can be washed and sanitised regularly. Clear safety guides are provided and staff will

  • The use of masks and gloves are not encouraged, with the exception of pharmacy employees.

  • The WHO (World Health Organisation) urges people to use masks wisely and states that masks should only be worn by people who have the symptoms (especially coughing) or if they are looking after someone who may be infected given the world-wide shortage of masks.

  • The WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and mis-use of masks.

  • The mask is not an effective barrier to prevent infection and may even retain germs that can cause illness.

  • The WHO maintains that regular hand washing offers more protection than wearing rubber gloves.

  • While gloves can protect hands from coming into contact with the liquid droplets from the virus, the droplets will still stay on the gloves. This increases the risk of catching the virus as people may touch their face or food with their gloves, and risk passing it on to others.

  •  Strict hygiene and safety measures are in place to help protect customers as far as possible.
  • Customers are asked to make use of the disinfectant spray bottles when entering stores and at till points. 

  • Sani wipes are provided at store entrances for use on hands and trolley and basket handles.

  • The Group also requests customers to follow the simple steps to help stop the spread of the virus by washing hands regularly, not touching faces, covering coughs and sneezes and respecting a social distance of at least one metre (also when queuing for grants).  

  • A public appeal was issued not to stockpile and to buy only what is needed, so that others are not left without much-needed items. 

  • It is working closely with supplier companies to continue to stock shelves as millions on the African continent rely on the Group to have food items and basic necessities available.

  • Unfortunately many consumers have not yet heeded to the call to refrain from stockpiling, therefore rationing the sale of certain products has become necessary. This includes toilet paper, tissues, wipes, liquid soap, hand sanitizer as well as some tinned foods, painkillers and cereals.

  • Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets have extensive shopping hours to accommodate its broad customer base. The Group appeals to senior citizens to shop outside of peak travel times (early mornings and late afternoons) and when stores are quieter to minimise exposure. 

  • Shoprite and Checkers have prioritised quick entry and speedy check out for all healthcare and law enforcement personnel tirelessly serving the nation on the frontline amidst the coronavirus crisis. The same is done for the elderly and disabled persons and was introduced during grant pay-out days.

  • Branch managers will identify healthcare and law enforcement personnel in uniform to grant them quick entry into stores. Individuals are also welcome to present their identification to security at the store entrance.

  • Special till points have been allocated to prioritise speedy checkouts for healthcare and law enforcement personnel.

  • Security staff are monitoring the number of customers that enter our stores and will limit entry if necessary.

  • The Group will be doing it’s very best to facilitate social grant payments quickly and efficiently whilst protecting the well-being of both customers and employees.

    • Customers queuing for grant payouts will be requested to maintain a social distance of at least one metre.

    • Where available, chairs for pensioners will be placed 1 meter apart.

    • Throughout the day security will walk up and down the queue outside the store and offer to spray customers’ hands with disinfectant.

    • Security will only permit 10 people into a store at a time, and will again offer to spray their hands with disinfectant upon entry. 

  • As attention remains focused on curtailing the spread of the coronavirus, the Group continues to reach out to the communities in which it trades.
  • Donations to its Act for Change Fund will go to the Solidarity Fund to assist the most vulnerable during this crisis.  
  • Customers can contribute to the Fund by informing cashiers that they wish to add a donation to their purchase at the till point in any Shoprite or Checkers store countrywide. 

  • Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchens continue to feed communities throughout South Africa by dropping off nutritious meals of fortified soup and bread at beneficiary organisations. Staff are implementing the strictest hygiene standards.

  • Surplus food to the value of almost R1.5 million has been donated to registered beneficiary organisations since the start of the lockdown. Stores are adhering to strict guidelines to reduce the risk of contact when food is collected.

  • Selected Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets have also made donation trolleys available in its stores nationally.

  • Customers are encouraged to donate sanitary and disinfectant products, including soap and hand sanitizer.

  • These donations will be distributed in informal settlements, care facilities and other organisations caring for vulnerable groups.

  • Good hygiene practices are key to preventing the spread of this virus.

  • Suppliers have been requested to ensure that safety and hygiene standards are maintained at their sites and when visiting any of the Group’s stores, warehouses or office buildings.

  • Steps have also been taken to reduce the risk of contact when deliveries are made.


Computicket  


  • Computicket has advised  that customers can expect to be refunded should events be cancelled or postponed. 

  • It is in constant contact with event organisers and where events are being cancelled, ticket holders will be informed of the necessary procedure to institute refunds. 

  • Should events be postponed, ticket holders may request a refund or wait until new dates are confirmed before deciding. 

  • Where a reversal is not possible on the card used for payment, as in the case with debit cards or expired credit cards, Computicket would require personal information (such as an account holder’s name, account number, bank name, branch code) to process the payment via EFT. 

  • Any patron who prefers not to disclose their bank details, as well as those who bought their tickets in store,can visit their nearest Computicket outlet or a Shoprite or Checkers Money Market counter to process their refund. 

  • Bus and flight carriers have implemented policies to assist with changes in travel arrangements due to Covid-19. It is advised that travel arrangements be postponed instead of cancelled to save costs.

In the media: 

susIcon
Covid-19: Here's why wearing gloves is not ideal & handwashing is best
- by Wendy Knowler for Times Live
susIcon
South Africa’s biggest food retailer points to unprecedented demand – but pleads to stop stockpiling
- on Business Tech
susIcon
Shoprite Group’s statement and action on the novel coronavirus
- on Retail Brief Africa
susIcon
Spooked shoppers urged to stop coronavirus-linked stockpiling
- on iol.co.za
susIcon
Shoprite: Kyk, ons het tonne kos!
- by Petrus Malherbe on Netwerk24 (Afrikaans)
susIcon
Shocked by the sight of supermarket workers not wearing gloves? Gloves are false security - they are not the silver bullet to safety - (very) regular handwashing is.
- by @wendyknowler on Twitter
susIcon
Shoprite makes R1m donation to the Solidarity Fund
- on iol.co.za