Eros Pick-n-Pay closes shop

• By Vitalio Angula

PICK-n-Pay Eros has shut shop after 19 years of operation, a decision Pick-n-Pay Namibia Managing Director, Graeme Mouton said was necessitated by the store’s poor performance which resulted in its failure to achieve economy of scale.

Mouton also announced that the brand also closed its Keetmanshoop store.

“After much deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to close our Pick-n-Pay Keetmanshoop and Eros stores,” Mouton announced.

“This closure has been necessitated by continued poor operational performance of the stores over the last 24 months. The Keetmanshoop and Eros stores would require significant investments to improve operational performance and remain competitive in an already strained market. For the Pick-n-Pay brand to be equitable, it needs to drive perceptions and experiences that are valued by the customer and build loyalty and trust,” Mouton noted.

He further said the stores had failed to achieve economies of scale and that affected the shops overall economic performance.

Pick n Pay Human Capital Manager, Timothy Izaaks said none of the employees at the Pick-n-Pay Keetmanshoop or Eros would be retrenched in the process of closing the stores.

“All our permanent employees from both stores have been offered a relocation package. Only six out of the twenty employees declined this offer for personal reasons. We are grateful that we could retain our employees by securing positions for them at other stores,” Izaaks said.

The shop, a well-known brand name under the Oltlaver and List Group of companies (O&L), took over the supermarket from Village Square 19 years ago and served as a convenience store not only to residents but to employees of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).

Professor Rehabeam Auala, an Eros resident, expressed his disappointment at the news that a family favourite for Eros residents, the neighbourhood supermarket, Pick-n-Pay, had permanently closed shop after nineteen years of serving residents and visitors to next doors medi-clinic hospital.

“I was surprised and shocked to see that Pick-n-Pay is no longer operational,” Auala told Confidente.

“The store was within close proximity to my home and I could walk there to buy necessities. We will now be inconvenienced with having to travel a further distance to buy our daily supplies,” Auala said.

Meme Julia, a merchant who sold Kapana outside of the supermarket, said she heard rumors of the closing of the shop but was not aware it would be so soon.

Speaking to Confidente, she said over the years she had made a living selling Kapana and cigarettes and other small items such as chips to pedestrians to earn an income but with the closing of the shop she would have to find another spot with foot traffic where she would be selling her goods.

Another merchant, only identified as Christine said she was disappointed and sad at the closing of the store but heard that another shop ‘superstore’ would be moving in.

Christine sells mops and brooms and wire products for decoration to pedestrians at Pick-n-Pay.

“My brother, it is hard but off course we can survive, everything is a cycle in life,” she told Confidente.

Three quarters of Pick n Pays 1700 employees are members of the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU).

Secretary General of NAFAU, Willem Absalom could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.