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THIS ISSUE: 18 Mar - 24 Mar
Pick n Pay, you may or may not have heard, has launched its very own loyalty card, no doubt causing competitors to kick themselves and wonder why they hadn’t thought of it first. Capex to date on the project has been R140million, and The Big Blue confidently expects 3 million punters to sign on in year one, attracted by the points, and then the rands – equivalent to ten bucks per grand – they will get back on purchases. Six inaugural participants – Coke, Kimberley-Clark, Unilever, Tiger, Vodacom and Nestlé – will be able to offer further points on their products in the basket. Pick n Pay’s decision to press the go button now comes after years of research, and a period of waiting for the technology to catch up to the bolder ambitions of the scheme, which will allow shoppers to donate their takings to a person or charity of their choice, and Pick n Pay to identify and target the shopping behaviours of its customers. Comment: That’s the way, big guy. Keep it on the down low, then boom! And we particularly like the way the programme’s “Smart Shopper” identity plugs into the post-recessionary zeitgeist.
Tatler Reporter 23/03/11
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The Competition Tribunal has adjourned its hearings in the Walmart/Massmart merger for six weeks, as SACCAWU threatened to withdraw from the proceedings unless restrictions on its ability to cross examine evidence were lifted. The hearings will resume in early May, and the postponement means that the transaction, if successful, will be delayed by at least two months. Massmart has issued a terse one liner to the effect that they have noted the Tribunal’s decision and are considering their options with the input of their legal team. The development raises the concern that even in the event of the Tribunal deciding in merger’s favour, SACCAWU will take the decision on appeal, further delaying the transaction.
Comment: In the Tatler’s long and proud history, we have never rendered profanity into print. We make an exception now: bollocks. This is destructive bandstanding by an organisation which has no real interest in the economic security of either this country or its own membership.
Business Report 23/03/11
More news for the Big Blue is that it has scratched around behind the cushions on the sofa and come up with R500million in loose change to improve liquidity and fund expansion. Selling off three-month debt in the form of interest-bearing securities, which is apparently something you can do, was also of some assistance in this regard. Investec brokered the deal, with the assistance of Absa Capital, and the excess wedge will be used for a number of worthy purposes – for e.g. to stem the Red Tide on the continent of Africa. Pick n Pay is opening four new stores in Mozambique, where there are only 15 modern retailers, but where, our brother-in-law confidently assures us, there will be a couple hundred in five years time.
Comment: It will also be of some comfort to Pick n Pay as it waits for a nervous six weeks for the Australian Competition Commission to deliberate on the outcome of the Franklins/Metcash saga.
The New Age 21/03/11
As the Consumer Protection Act comes screaming in like Nato jets to wreak havoc on the 31st of March, smaller manufacturers are running hither and thither, scrambling to take cover under trucks and behind dead camels to avoid the worst of the destruction. Or, more accurately, they’re not. But the clever chaps over at NSF-CMi have realised that under the stringent new provisions, market entry is going to be more of a challenge for the smaller supplier, so they’ve devised a set of standards, called Genesis GMP, which will assist them in understanding the areas of vulnerability in their business and show them opportunities for the achievement of competitive edge, all the while adhering to the minimum standards of R918, SANS 10049, Codex GMP and HACCP.
Comment: And other things we don’t understand. But it seems like a damned good idea, nevertheless.
Tatler Reporter 14/03/11
We reckon they should do it just for the name, alone. Should Anheuser-Busch, largest brewer in the world and manufacturer of Budweiser purchase SABMiller, brewer of Hansa Pilsener, the proper KZN kind which you can’t get in CT and second largest brewer globally, as certain gimlet-eyed analysts think they might, they could – just could, mind you – call themselves ABSAB. Sweetie, darling. These rapacious plunderers of private fortune – the analysts, not the brewers – believe that the right time for Anheuser-Busch InBev to make its move would be before SABMiller grabs Fosters down in the great thirsty wasteland, as it seems to be squaring up to do. At 28 quid a share, this would put SABMiller at $71billion.
Comment: Which is what we call a fair old whack.
Business Day 22/03/11
South Africa’s chain of brief affairs with various whip-waisted, sloe-eyed foreign beers is over, and we’re back in the comforting embrace of the Big Guy, apparently. After a two-year decline in market share, SABMiller is back up at 88 or 89%, after plummeting to a Stygian 86% in the year 8.
Business Times 20/03/11
Speaking of HACCP, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) has just appointed as the new Head of Food Safety Initiative (FSI) business unit Ronel Burger, who will be leaving her current position as Manager at Danone where she is responsible for Quality Assurance and Food Safety.
Tatler Reporter 22/03/11
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