Checkers opened five new stores in Johannesburg’s East Rand in one day – in locations that all used to be Pick n Pay franchises.

According to Checkers-owner Shoprite, the five new stores all come with several in-store fresh food departments, such as a Meat Market, Hot and Cold Foods Deli, Bakery, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, and an in-store Money Market counter.

The five new stores are:

  • Checkers Kempton Gate in Kempton Park


  • Checkers Elgin in Kempton Park


  • Checkers Eden Terrace in Edenvale


  • Checkers Glen Balad in Kempton Park


  • Checkers Brentwood in Kempton Park

The five new stores form part of eight sites that Pick n Pay previously occupied in the East Rand, but lost to its business rival.

As reported by News24, the stores are attached to a prominent Pick n Pay franchisee who lost a case against the retailer in February. In the case, Pick n Pay sought a liquidation order against the franchisee over unpaid debts.

The franchisee reportedly negotiated lease agreements with Shoprite around the same time.

In addition to the five new stores, South Africa’s largest retailer also plans to open another two Checkers in previous Pick n Pay spots, while a Shoprite store has already opened.

Contrasting financials

Shoprite has outperformed its retail rival, with the latest financial results for both companies highlighting Pick n Pay’s troubles.

Shorprite’s latest results for the six months ended 31 December 2023 show that the group’s profit increased by 4.2% to R3.4 billion.

Despite spending roughly R500 million on diesel due to load shedding, Shoprite saw its headline earnings increase by 8.6% to 610.5 cents per share when including discontinued operations.

Meanwhile, Pick n Pay’s latest results for the six months ended 27 August 2023 showed the group’s headline earnings dropped significantly (241.5%) from a profit of 97.73 cents per share in the prior reporting period to a loss of 138.24 cents per share.

The group also warned that its earnings per share and headline earnings per share for the full year ended February 2024 are expected to decrease by over 20% compared to the previous financial year.

Big changes in retail

The fight for retail space and dominance in high traffic areas is expected to ramp up significantly in South Africa over the coming years after the Competition Commission successfully secured agreements from all major retailers to end exclusive lease contracts at shopping malls and retail centres.

This will see over 2,000 retail centres in South Africa open up to a wider variety of shops and stores.

Exclusive lease agreements in the grocery sector usually grant a tenant, such as a national supermarket chain, exclusive rights to operate in a specific shopping centre to the exclusion of any other grocery retailers.

Shoprite was the first national supermarket chain to voluntarily conclude a consent agreement with the Commission. Shoprite’s consent agreement was confirmed by the Tribunal in October 2020. In June 2021, the Tribunal also confirmed a consent agreement between the Commission and Pick n Pay.

SPAR joined the other retailers in 2023, with the final confirmation from the Competition Tribunal coming in December 2023.

The Competition Tribunal said that all exclusivity should be phased out by 31 December 2026.