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Pick n Pay’s roots can be traced back to principles handed down to Raymond Ackerman when he was a commerce student at the University of Cape Town. His lecturer, Professor WH Hutt, believed implicitly in the principle of consumer sovereignty, and his words, “treat the customer like a queen and she will make you a king”, made a lasting impression on the young student.

The Company’s mission is consumerism, which in simple terms, means to interpret and satisfy customers’ needs by selling quality products at competitive prices, and providing courteous service in stores that are well located and pleasing to shop in. In addition, a policy of refunding goods without question has enabled Pick n Pay to establish long-term customer relationships, and has ultimately lead to an incredibly loyal customer base.

Pick n Pay’s history is proof that the philosophy of consumer sovereignty is not simply a platitude.

Along with the enormous transformation that has taken place in South Africa over the past one-and-a-half decades, significant changes have also taken place within Pick n Pay. These changes are based on a firm belief that our ability to achieve service excellence is directly proportional to our capacity to establish a climate of dignity, respect and freedom amongst every employee in our company.

To achieve this, we embarked upon a change process called Vuselela – or Rebirth – which brought about a dramatic change in relationships and the re-humanisation of our places of work.

The parallels between the Company, which is a microcosm of South African society, and the country itself are self-evident. It is therefore incumbent upon us all to realise that we are the pioneers of a legacy that will underpin our dream of a democratic society. That is why we continue to emphasise our commitment to social responsibility with renewed vigour. The unselfish personal acts and sacrifices demonstrated by people within Pick n Pay on a daily basis, both towards their colleagues as well as towards customers, have strengthened our resolve to build for the future; and have restored our faith in our ability to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.

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