SWAKOPMUND, Aug. 18 – Twenty-one (21) positions have been terminated at the Swakopmund and Walvis Bay branches of Pick n Pay Namibia. This turn of events follows after recent reports in local daily newspapers that the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) group insisted that no cutbacks are on the cards at the moment for its local retailer, Pick n Pay.
O&L Group Manager: Corporate Communications, Roux-ché Locke, yesterday confirmed the retrenchments at the two coastal branches after Namibia Daily News investigated the matter.
According to Mrs Locke, the tough economic climate at the coast has taken its toll on both their Pick n Pay branches at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, eroding sales growth, inflating expenses and rendering their current business model unsustainable.
“As a result, a business decision was taken to reduce non-critical positions at these branches, effective 1 September 2017, necessitating the rationalization of these operations in order to bring cost structures in line with turnover and current performance,” Locke explained via email.
She clarified that in addition to providing the affected employees with all possible support and preferential consideration for other vacancies within the group , severance packages are carefully negotiated involving all affected parties.
Retrenchments or business closures are always a last resort and particularly difficult as employees and organizational culture are critical to the success of the business, Roux-ché Locke noted.
The current economic crisis has had a major impact on Government, businesses, individuals and indeed the country as a whole. Tough times dictate what needs to be done in order to survive and ensure (we) still have a business in the future, she remarked.
“At this stage no stores are being closed and store closures will always be the last resort as all efforts will be made to try and weather these tough times. This is part of normal business realignment and by no means related to the Pick n Pay SA retrenchment operations,” she concluded.
Pick n Pay South Africa (PnP SA) recently had to reduce its staff by 10%, about 3500 employees. – Marshallino Beukes