Pick n Pay – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – on Thursday, 2 July 2020 issued a statement to clear the air by sharing factual information following a misleading report on “the future of Pick n Pay” (sic) in one of the local newspapers, also circulating on social media.
The retailer responded to the closure of its store at the Pick n Pay Centre (formerly the Seagulls Mall) in Walvis Bay, on Wednesday, 30 June 2020. O&L Group Corporate Communications Manager, Roux-che Locke said: “As part of our business re-alignment strategy that has been developed in order for us to turn Pick n Pay Namibia into a sustainable and profitable business and in so doing, secure the jobs of our employees, a decision was taken to close that store as the current economic climate in the Erongo Region unfortunately does not allow us to operate three stores in that region as it duplicates already high operating expenses, including extremely high utility costs in comparison to the rest of Namibia. At this stage, there are no further closures planned, and we will continue to have a presence in the Erongo region with our stores at the Dunes Mall and in Swakopmund. The closure of the Pick n Pay store at the Pick n Pay Centre, is by no means related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, the consequential impact of COVID-19 remains a concern for all businesses, including Pick n Pay. We would like to categorically state that – while some of our employees at the closed Pick n Pay store at Walvis Bay Pick n Pay Centre opted to be retrenched (and others were relocated), the future of our employees through job security at Pick n Pay and the rest of the O&L operating companies, remain our top priority as we strive to achieve the O&L vision and objectives of 2025.”
Locke also responded to a media report regarding the future sponsorship of the Pick n Pay Cycle Classic event which implies that the “future of Pick n Pay is under scrutiny” (sic). “This is totally incorrect and misleading as the report was unfortunately misconstrued, creating a factually incorrect and negative perception of Pick n Pay and the O&L Group. In fact, we would like to assure you that we are passionately and aggressively committed to our Purpose: ‘Creating a future, enhancing life.”