The Shoprite Group’s most effective, innovative and reliable suppliers were rewarded at its 2019 Supplier Awards this past weekend.
Pieter Engelbrecht, CEO of Africa’s largest food retailer, said the integrity and efficiency of the Group’s supply chain is key to its business success. It works with 19 398 suppliers across 15 African countries and 13 other countries to provide customers with products and services.
Shoprite’s centralised distribution model also enables smaller women- and black-owned suppliers to enter the formal retail sector through an established route to market.
Some of these suppliers were among the winners, including SMME owner Leanne Hansmann, who started The Little Cake Company after her husband passed away and she was left with two children to care for.
The Little Cake Company in Glen Anil, Durban, supplies cakes and cupcakes under its own brand and under the Group’s private label convenience brands. All of the company’s employees are women from informal settlements near Glen Anil.
“Shoprite gives small businesses a chance and that’s so important because we’re the ones creating jobs and helping our economy to grow.”
– Leanne Hansmann
Lesotho-based business MG Commodities was the joint winner in the SMME category. Makatleho Gladys Motsoasele, a serial entrepreneur, started the business in 2008, when as a caterer, she noticed a decline in nutritious food.
Today she runs the business with her sons, Katleho (General Manager) and Lele (Marketing Manager). MG Commodities supplies rice and sugar beans to Shoprite and Usave stores in Lesotho and recently expanded operations to include premises in Ladybrand.
– Katleho Motsoasele
At the awards Engelbrecht said that the Group’s partnerships with suppliers “are critical to our success and mutually beneficial”, and that “together we contribute significantly to the South African economy and also to other African countries in which we trade.”
– Pieter Engelbrecht, Pieter Engelbrecht, Shoprite Group chief executive officer
Winners in the various categories include:
Groceries: Preggie Naidoo, Bliss Brands
“Shoprite has enabled Bliss brands to drive greater volume based on the footprint it has in the market, being the largest retailer in the country.” – Preggie Naidoo
Health & Beauty: Aubrey Lesar, GlaxoSmithKline
“One of the greatest achievements that GSK has experienced over the last year is that we are growing our categories at almost double what the market is growing at.” – Aubrey Laser
Perishables: Shaamil Abrahams, Pioneer Foods
“One of the major growth points over the last five years was us acquiring a couple of smaller businesses in order to grow our basket and also to provide Shoprite with a wider range.” – Shaamil Abrahams
Convenience Foods: Charlotte Alho, Emperor Foods
“Our main aim is to always to ensure repeat purchases for Checkers on their private and convenience ranges.” – Charlotte Alho
Liquor & Wine: Conrad Stickling, KWV
“KWV is already a trusted brand in South Africa, but Shoprite being the largest retailer in Africa gave us the opportunity to access a lot of customers.” – Conrad Stickling
Private Label: Mark Chiocchetti, Centillion Trading
“We constantly watch the overseas trends and are guided by Shoprite’s knowledge of what its consumer wants so we can provide the right product at the right price.” – Mark Chiocchetti
Fruit & Vegetables: Janus Goosen, Goosen Boerdery
“With the Shoprite Group we doubled our turnover in the past year.” – Janus Goosen
Butcheries: Juan Slabbert, West Peak Speciality Meats
“The opportunity that Shoprite and Checkers gave us to supply all their stores has opened the door for us to grow as a company.” – Juan Slabbert
General Merchandise: André Bimray, Efekto
“Our company has a major impact for consumers because we are able to solve the problem of how do we meet the demands of Shoprite and Checkers consumers.” – André Bimray
Shoprite’s partnership with suppliers helps it contribute to growing an inclusive economy. It provides additional opportunities and support for small- and medium-sized enterprises and spent 8.51% of supplier spend on black-owned suppliers and 4.66% on black, woman- owned suppliers in the last financial year.
It has also launched an innovative investment fund in partnership with Empowerment Capital Investment Partners to unlock much-needed growth capital for some of its suppliers.