Our Supply Chain

29 distribution centres
encompassing 673 843 m2

807 trucks fitted with
solar pv panels

820 trucks and
1 273 trailers in distribution fleet

18 709 hours
spent training our drivers

We continue to invest in innovative information and technology systems and infrastructure to ensure our supply chain remains world-class and efficient. Through integrated planning, procurement, logistics and sales, we optimise our business efficiency at scale, to the extent that our supply chain – which controls our local, import and export activities – is fully amalgamated with our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Our streamlined supply chain generates cost savings for our business, our suppliers and our customers and it lowers our environmental footprint by reducing carbon emissions, as well as packaging and food waste.  

Our centralised supply chain benefits our customers

Our centralised supply chain helps us deliver on our business promise of everyday low prices

Our supply chain is fully integrated with the Group’s ERP system. This gives us a competitive advantage and allows for greater collaboration across all aspects of the chain, creating benefits in planning, procurement, warehouse logistics and distribution, while enabling us to manage efficiencies and deliver on our promise of everyday low prices.

We are investing in new trans-shipping DCs in South Africa that will cut down our travelling time, further enhance our operations and reduce our carbon footprint. The first of these centres will open in Polokwane in late 2020 and a second in KwaZulu-Natal in the next reporting period.

Our store base and centralised distribution model provide us with a closed-loop supply chain ecosystem, allowing us to manage and integrate our supply chain right down to shelf level and to derive benefits beyond centralised buying, warehousing, distribution and logistics.

The efficiency of our supply chain benefits our suppliers

The efficiency of our supply chain benefits our suppliers

The integrity and efficiency of the Group’s supply chain is key to our success and integral to the advantages we offer our suppliers. It ensures that we can deliver quality products on demand throughout our extensive network of stores across Africa.

Including and developing SMEs in the supply chain allows us to grow and diversify by providing various options and a continuous supply pipeline for products and services.

On the other hand, our centralised distribution model gives our suppliers access to a more efficient route to market than the costly direct-to-store option where supplier vehicles drive further and waste time between individual store deliveries, enabling the Group to give smaller enterprises access to market.

R8.15 billion spent on procurement from black-owned suppliers in South Africa; increased procurement from black-women-owned suppliers by R1.4 billion.

*For the year ended 28 June 2020

Integration of our supply chain benefits our franchisees

Our centralised supply chain allows us to offer certain benefits to the Group’s franchise store owners

The Group’s franchises and buying partners benefit from our centralised distribution model.

We continue to improve our franchise offering by rebranding stores and incorporation them more tightly into our supply chain. Historically, our franchises were stocked through dedicated distribution centres; however, we’ve accelerated their integration into our corporate distribution channels so that they benefit in the same way as our corporate stores.

Our state-of-the-art DCs reduce the need for storage space at franchise stores, allowing owners to use their available space for showcasing products. Our adaptable storage format also allows for small-format Usave stores in more remote areas.

COVID-19 and our Supply Chain


The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in South Africa caused the Group to find innovative solutions to keep business operations going. We established a COVID-19 task team to determine risks and roll out compliance measures.

Through our centralised distribution model, we were able to swiftly distribute personal protection equipment, temperature scanners and sanitisers to our stores to protect our employees and customers.

To further support business operations, we:

  • accelerated online delivery channels, like Checkers Sixty60
  • communicated with and supported our suppliers in continued production
  • regularly consulted with regulators and government departments to ensure compliance; and
  • increased security measures to ensure the safe delivery of goods to stores.

Optimising our Supply Chain

Our scaled, centralised distribution model controls the majority of local, import and cross-border export movements and continues to give the Group a competitive advantage as it allows for greater integration and collaboration across our supply chain. Our ERP system enhances this advantage by combining planning, procurement, warehouse logistics and distribution. With real-time information and analytics, we continue to improve the process of prioritising and replenishing stock, ensuring we manage variations in demand and supply more effectively. As a result, we’ve managed to improve stockholding levels, on-shelf availability and customer satisfaction.

Even More Agile

With our investment in digital transformation and the integration of our supply chain in the Group’s ERP system, we use data to embed insights and analytics in all our processes, enabling us to improve decision-making across the chain. This ensures each store is stocked for local needs and able to adjust promotions, pricing, formats and stock according to their customers’ needs. 

Thanks to our size and efficient supply chain, we distribute products more cost-effectively to meet our customers’ growing demand for diverse product ranges.

Our DCs are the Heart of our Supply Chain

From the primary distribution hubs in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western and Eastern Cape, our supply chain delivers products anywhere in the country and includes sophisticated cold chain technology. We are also investing in new trans-shipping DCs, which will enable our fleet to cut down on travelling time while reducing our carbon footprint.

1.04 billion transactions,
serving 24 million customers

Donated surplus food and goods from our stores and DCs to the value of R95.2 million

Recycled 41 772 tons of plastic
and cardboard through our DCs

Our fleet travelled over
85 million kilometres

The Centurion DC is the largest grocery
retail DC
under one roof in Africa

*For the year ended 28 June 2020.

Food Waste and our Supply Chain

We are working to reduce the volumes of food waste entering landfill by 100% by 2022 – specifically in the Western Cape – and to halve food waste along our supply chain by 50% in 2030. We have collaborated with industry stakeholders and the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa on the country’s first Food Waste Voluntary Agreement. 

The Group has adopted a hierarchical and holistic approach to minimise food waste by reducing food losses along the chain. We are also exploring ways to work with our suppliers to reduce on-farm food waste. We prevent excess waste as we buy for multiple markets and accept several grades of products.

Climate Change and our Supply Chain

We continue to minimise our impact on climate change and shifting to sustainable packaging is one of the biggest ways in which we have made a positive change. Furthermore, we focus on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through ongoing improvement in energy management across our operations and supply chain. 

We have invested in travelling smarter through the purchase of new-generation Scania trucks, ensuring improved fuel efficiency and we will upgrade our fleet with more efficient alternatives to further reduce our carbon footprint.