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We are committed to stop the virus

 

 
 

“South Africans are a formidable force for good when we are united. To overcome the greatest challenge of our time, we need to pull together more than ever before.”

 

- Pieter Engelbrecht, CEO of the Shoprite Group

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Supporting our communities

Frequently Asked Questions


Our people Hygiene Communities Stock In-store Online Computicket


Our People

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How are you supporting your employees?

  • Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak the Group has acted proactively to safeguard its employees and customers to the extent that it is within our power to do so.
  • Various measures have been implemented including daily temperature testing when employees arrive at work; dispatching mobile clinics for referrals; rolling out plastic face shields to employees; and maintaining stringent hygiene and sanitising protocols across all our operations. 
  • Proactive screening has assisted the Group to identify possible cases through early detection. 
  • One of the various measures in place is temperature testing of each and every employee upon arrival at work. 
  • Employees of merchandising, security and cleaning companies also undergo temperature scanning.
  • Anybody with a temperature higher than 37.5’C is immediately referred to one of the Group’s mobile clinics for further consultation. 
  • Where a mobile clinic isn't available close by, employees are referred to the nearest clinic.
  • Independent Health Practitioners are employed in our 36 mobile clinics and do the consultation and referrals. This is known as the screening process.
  • The NICD regularly updates their criteria and case definition for persons under investigation (PUI) and the NICD have advised that people will only be tested if they meet the PUI criteria, which includes having symptoms of a respiratory illness of recent or sudden onset. 
  • The NICD advises that any individual with health concerns should contact their local health facility, the government hotline or the NICD to further guide their actions and advise on testing processes if required, which may be done through the public- or private-sectors.
  • If needed employees who meet the case definition provided by the NICD are referred for a further health examination, as per guiding protocol. 
  • Government has advised that testing is not done routinely unless indicated by a health professional. 
  • For more on testing processes and requirements, please read more on the information provided by the NICD here.
  • The moment a positive case is confirmed, the Group always voluntarily closes a store without waiting for authorities’ instruction to do so, taking into consideration when last an employee was at work.
  • The Department of Environmental Health, Department of Health and Department of Labour are informed.
  • Those who had close contact with the person who tested positively are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Employees who have tested positive for Covid-19, or who had close contact with those affected, are remunerated according to the company's special Covid-19 leave policy as well as the regulations contained in COIDA and TERS.
  • A professional decontamination company is brought in to sanitize and deep clean the store and the store is reopened in consultation with the Provincial Department of Health. 
  • Our actions are directed by the guidelines and advisory updates provided by the NICD and we continuously consult with the Department of Health who guide our actions.
  • The NICD, who work closely with the Department of Health, are responsible for COVID-19 contact tracing, monitoring, testing, management and communication throughout the country.
  • To protect employees’ privacy, the Group is not able to provide more detailed information with regards to specific cases and it appeals to all to understand and respect patient confidentiality governed by law. 
  • The responsibility to stop this virus lies with all of us: businesses, employees and customers all have a role to play. 
  • 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.
  • Hand sanitizer for personal use was issued to all employees, and store employees are served a free hot meal daily.
  • Shop floor and distribution centre employees received a once-off R102 million appreciation bonus for their tireless efforts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All employees were provided with personal protective equipment in the form of a plastic face shield which is sanitised at regular intervals.
  • Following the updated Disaster Management Act regulations published on 29 April, the Group is in the process of issuing each of its employees with two fabric masks free-of-charge as part of their uniforms.
  • It has placed an order for 340 000 fabric face masks which are being made in South Africa in support of the local textile industry.
  • Employees have received 3-ply surgical masks until sufficient quantities of fabric masks can be procured. 
  • The WHO (World Health Organisation) advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and mis-use of masks.
  • 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.

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What measures are in place to protect customers?

  • 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 social distancing rules (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.
  • Demand for certain products remains high and rationing the sale thereof is still necessary. This includes toilet paper, tissues, wipes, liquid soap, hand sanitizer as well as some tinned foods, cereals, antiseptic disinfectant liquids, medicines and vitamins.
  • 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.
  • Security staff monitor the number of customers that enter stores.
  • Entry is limited where necessary based on the store’s floor space and the specific number of customers and employees that may be inside the premises given the space available, whilst maintaining the required social distancing (all store sizes differ in size).
  • In line with regulations, customers are required to wear a cloth face mask or other covering for the mouth and nose.
  • 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 the required social distance of 1.5 meters.
    • Where available, chairs for pensioners will be placed 1.5 meters 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.
  • The following steps are in place to avoid overcrowding with the sale of liquor from 1 June 2020. These include:
    • Additional security measures at our LiquorShops.
    • The number of customers that can enter will be strictly monitored. 
    • Entry is limited where necessary based on the store’s floor space and the specific number of customers and employees that may be inside the premises given the store space available, whilst maintaining the required social distancing (all store sizes differ in size).
    • Queuing systems will be set up and managed outside each store. Where necessary, a snake-type passage will be set up to assist with social distancing requirements. 

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Are there measures in place for suppliers?

  • 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.

 

Hygiene

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What are you doing to ensure personal 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) are reinforced with all store personnel.
  • In addition to the sani wipes provided at each store entrance for use on hands and trolley and basket handles, customers may also make use of the spray bottles with disinfectant at till points.

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How are you keeping the stores hygienic?

  • 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 were provided with personal protective equipment in the form of a plastic face shield which is sanitised at regular intervals.
  • Following the updated Disaster Management Act regulations published on 29 April, the Group is in the process of issuing each of its employees with two fabric masks free-of-charge as part of their uniforms.
  • It has placed an order for 340 000 fabric face masks which are being made in South Africa in support of the local textile industry.
  • Employees have received 3-ply surgical masks until sufficient quantities of fabric masks can be procured. 
  • The WHO (World Health Organisation) advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and mis-use of masks.
  • 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.

 
 

Communities

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How are you supporting your communities?

  • During these unprecedented times the Shoprite Group continues its work, which is now more necessary than ever before, of building resilient communities.
  • Given the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on vulnerable communities, the Group has ramped up its relief efforts to provide  support in excess of R23-million.

icon   Hunger Relief

  • Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Group has continued its work with hundreds of vetted non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support initiatives focused on tackling food insecurity in local communities.
  • The Group partners with NGOs focused on building and supporting sustainable pillars for development, specifically food and nutritional security, quality early childhood development (ECD) services, and access to training and development.
  • Since the start of the national lockdown, surplus food valued at over R18 million has been donated to more than 250 vetted beneficiary organisations with which the Group has long-standing relationships.
  • During the same period, Shoprite’s 23 Mobile Soup Kitchens have supplied more than 600 000 meals to over 900 beneficiary organisations with employees implementing the strictest hygiene standards when delivering the food.
  • In addition to the above, the Group has a sustainable hunger relief programme in place to address food scarcity needs in the long-term.
  • Since 2015 it has partnered with more than 100 community gardens and 347 home gardens across all 9 provinces which benefits more than 23 000 people.
  • The Group’s support includes permaculture training workshops over a period of 18 months which introduces beneficiaries to techniques such as mulching, companion planting and composting to ensure that the gardens continue to provide fresh produce in the long run.

icon  Solidarity Fund

  • The Group has thanked and congratulated its customers for raising R1-million in funds for the Solidarity Fund
  • This was achieved through big and small donations via the Group’s Act for Change Fund, a till point donation facility.
  • In appreciation the Group matched its customers’ contributions with another R1-million bringing the total raised for the Solidarity Fund to R3-million, as the Group immediately heeded President Ramaphosa’s appeal by making an initial R1-million donation.
  • Donations are only added on at the request of customers. Anyone who would still like to donate to the Act For Change Fund, can do so at the till point in any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave store the next time they do their grocery shopping. 
  • Contributions from small rural towns have been unprecedented. Middelburg, Kokstad and Ulundi are the top three Shoprite stores with the highest number of customer contributions to the Fund.
  • The Group manages the Fund on behalf of its customers and pays all the money received over to the beneficiaries which at the moment is the Solidarity Fund. There are no administrative costs.
  • The Act for Change Fund was launched in March 2016 in response to customers who enquired how they too could help drought-stricken communities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State at the time.

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  • Selected Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets have donation trolleys available in its stores. Customers are encouraged to donate nonperishable foods, sanitary and disinfectant products.
  • These donations are distributed to care facilities and other organisations caring for vulnerable groups in informal settlements. 
  • South Africans who want to reach out and help those in need, in a time where physical contact is severely restricted due to the lockdown, can buy a virtual grocery voucher
  • This secure, technology-based solution provides food assistance quickly, efficiently and directly to economically destitute citizens.
  • Tens of thousands of virtual grocery vouchers have already been distributed to South Africans in need after the Group launched this offering via its affiliate Computicket at the beginning of April 2020.
  • In addition to buying virtual vouchers to help individuals in need, customers can also purchase them for vetted non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) working to address food insecurity in local communities. 
  • Virtual vouchers are sent via SMS to a recipient’s mobile phone within an hour of being purchased and can be redeemed immediately at any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave store.
  • Customers can also send money to recipients without bank accounts at the Money Market counters located in stores Shoprite, Checkers and Usave supermarkets nationally. This is another way that South Africans can help fellow citizens currently without an income including domestic workers, gardeners, waiters and many more. 

Stock

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Do you have enough stock? Are the shelves empty?

  • Stockpiling and panic buying has stabilised following the unprecedented demand experienced following the announcement of a National State of Disaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 15 March 2020.
  • This has granted the Shoprite Group’s distribution centres an opportunity to restock and get adequate product volumes through to its stores. 
  • The Group continues to liaise with suppliers locally and across the globe to track and monitor orders and shipments to meet the increased 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 appeals 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. 
  • Following Government clarification provided on 9 April 2020, stores permitted to remain open for the sale of essential goods during the lockdown, including supermarkets, may sell products for the care of babies and toddlers.
  •  This includes baby clothes, blankets, towels and other essential accessories for new-borns, infants and toddlers up to the age of 36 months.
  • Per the government regulations published on 29 April 2020, the sale of winter clothing, footwear and bedding is now also permitted at Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets.
  • In anticipation of the influx of liquor sales, we have been working closely with our suppliers to ensure that there is sufficient stock available.

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Have you put limitations on products?

  • Demand for certain products remains high and rationing the sale thereof is still necessary. This includes toilet paper, tissues, wipes, liquid soap, hand sanitizer as well as some tinned foods, cereals, antiseptic disinfectant liquids, medicines and vitamins.
  • From 1 June limits on certain alcohol products may be applied where necessary and may differ from store to store.
  • Other limits may be applied where necessary as demand is monitored closely.
  • 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.

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Are there any restrictions on products?

  • The Group is committed to trade in accordance with the regulations instituted by the government.
  • The sale of tobacco products remains strictly prohibited and has been blocked at till points.
  • Shoprite and Checkers LiquorShops trade from Monday to Thursday, 9:00-17:00, as permitted under the strict guidelines outlined for lockdown level 3.
  • Where necessary, a LiquorShop may close its doors earlier to ensure that all customers inside the store are served before the stipulated closing time.

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Will the current situation affect pricing?

  • 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.
  • Product pricing may vary at times depending on whether items have been on promotion or not.

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What are the popular products customers are buying?

  • Demand has increased for sanitary (including toilet paper), hygiene and baby products, dry pasta, UHT milk, tinned foods, immune boosters and vitamins.
  • In the days leading up to the national lockdown there was a big increase in the sale of DIY products.
  • Currently baking goods such as cake flour, yeast and eggs are very popular.

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How are you keeping fresh foods safe?

  • 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.

 
 

In-store shopping experience

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How does the lockdown affect store trading?

  • Money Market counters continue to offer customers essential financial services including money transfers, bill payments as well as airtime and data purchases.
  • Crowd control is implemented at store level and measures vary from store to store.

icon   Different store formats

  • The Group continues to look at ways to reach communities with essential groceries and recently established a few mobile Usave stores which 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 stores are Ubrand private label products and pricing remains the same as what customers would pay in-store.

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How will you avoid overcrowding when the sale of liquor is permitted?

  • Additional security measures are in place at our LiquorShops.
  • The number of customers that can enter will be strictly monitored. 
  • Entry is limited where necessary based on the store’s floor space and the specific number of customers and employees that may be inside the premises given the store space available, whilst maintaining the required social distancing (all store sizes differ in size).
  • Queuing systems will be set up and managed outside each store. Where necessary, a snake-type passage will be set up to assist with social distancing requirements. 

 

Online shopping

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What online delivery options are available?

  • Checkers Sixty60 continues 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. A R35 delivery fee was introduced on Monday, 4 May 2020.
  • 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.
  • Sixty60 Boxed is a new collaboration between Sixty60 and CFS offering same-day delivery of groceries and household essentials to selected parts of the Western Cape and Gauteng not currently serviced by Sixty60. 
  • Order before 1pm to qualify for same-day delivery (or earlier in case the daily capacity is reached).
  • Checkers has teamed up with Mr D Food to deliver medicine to its MediRite pharmacy customers’ homes during the lockdown.
  • Wine and Liquor orders may be placed through Checkers Food Services for delivery in Gauteng and Western Cape.
  • Online liquor sales through the Checkers Sixty60 and Mr D Food apps will be available from Monday, 8 June 2020.

 
 
 

Computicket

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What about postponed or cancelled events?

  • 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.

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My travel plans had to change. What can I do?

  • 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

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Shoprite Group ramps up measures to protect employees and customers
- on Retail Brief Africa
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South Africa’s biggest food retailer points to unprecedented demand – but pleads to stop stockpiling
- on Business Tech
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Shoprite: Kyk, ons het tonne kos!
- by Petrus Malherbe on Netwerk24 (Afrikaans)
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"It's my pleasure to express my encomium to shoprite CEO Mr Pieter Engelbrecht ..."
- by @haybeejizzle on Twitter
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Shoprite makes R1m donation to the Solidarity Fund
- on iol.co.za
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Shoutout for shoppers in small town SA as R1m is raised for Covid-19 fund
- on Sowetan Live

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