Shoprite Holdings’ IT spending soared nearly 18% in the 2021 financial year as its focus on technology-led disruption and e-commerce shifted to become top strategic priorities.
South Africa’s largest retail group, which reported results for the 53 weeks to 4 July 2021 on Tuesday, said its spending on IT rose by 17.7%, from R634-million a year ago to R746-million in the latest 12-month period.
“In addition to transforming how we operate, our IT re-platforming has facilitated and fast-tracked our transformation as part of our digital and data-led future strategy,” group CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said in notes accompanying the financial results.
Cape Town-based Shoprite recently unveiled Shopritex, its digital technology hub that “blends the best of data science, technology and digital talent to save customers time and money through innovation”. Headed by former head of marketing Neil Schreuder, Shopritex has recently begun testing a cashierless concept store. The division was responsible for developing Shoprite’s Xtra Savings rewards programme, which has more than 20 million members, and the popular Sixty60 online shopping app, which has now surpassed 1.5 million downloads.
Shoprite said Sixty60 has “scaled rapidly” and now operates nationwide from 233 stores that serve as “micro-fulfilment centres”.
“Shopritex forms part of the group’s strategy to grow and monetise its ecosystem of value for consumers. We’ve spoken often about the next era of growth for Shoprite being about precision retailing and that future is now here,” said Engelbrecht. “Shopritex will use our rich customer data to create a ‘smarter Shoprite’ and ultimately fuse the best of digital with our physical and operational strength across the continent.”
Shoprite Holdings reported a 19% increase in operating profit in the 53 weeks to 4 July to R9.7-billion. Trading profit rose by 24.9% to R10.3-billion, while the sale of merchandise climbed by 8.1% to reach R168-billion. It hiked its dividend by 42% to R5.44/share. – © 2021 NewsCentral Media