The Shoprite Group has said that it has restored operations across its stores in parts of South Africa affected by recent social unrest, with the reopening of 89 stores in the past three weeks.
The group said that it has worked 'day and night' to restore operations affected by the unrest, which saw several outlets looted in the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng regions.
'Efforts And Determination'
It praised the 'efforts and determination' of its personnel in preventing looting and damage, as well as cleaning up and restoring operations following the unrest.
'Loss prevention, supply chain, fleet management and in-store teams stepped up immediately and have been critical in the reopening process,' the group said. 'The support of customers and their offers to help with clean-ups has been overwhelming.'
The group has also been proactive in terms of ensuring it can maintain food supply to affected areas, with its Shoprite Meadowlands store, in Soweto (one of the stores that reopened over the past three weeks), sending Usave eKasi trucks into affected communities and distributing thousands of food hampers for people in need.
'Act For Change Fund'
The group has also donated R1 million to the Shoprite 'Act For Change Fund', which will be used by organisations involved in relief efforts to help communities rebuild. The Fund is managed by the group, and shoppers can make a contribution to the fund at Shoprite, Checkers and Usave stores or online via the Computicket website.
“All of these efforts to re-open and rebuild our business and serve our communities in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng reflect the strength and resilience of our teams and our operations," a Shoprite spokesperson said. "We were able to spring into action and quickly restore our operations with as limited disruption as possible and ensured job security for thousands of employees.”
In February, Shoprite reported that its first-half profits rose by 22.5%, driven mainly by increased sales.
Elsehwere, SPAR Group said recently that it too was working 'around the clock' to restore services to its stores in South Africa.