South Africa’s biggest retailers: Shoprite vs Woolworths vs Spar vs Pick n Pay

 ·4 Aug 2022

Data and analytics company, Kantar BrandZ has published its Most Valuable South African Brands 2022 report, showing that the top 30 brands in the country are collectively valued at $34.9 billion, representing a 21% increase over last year.

MTN has leapt four places in South Africa’s brand ranking to occupy the No.1 spot for the first time with a brand value of $3.7 billion. The telecom provider also claims the accolade as this year’s fastest riser, growing 85% in brand value year-on-year.

Twelve South African brands boast above-average growth (21% rise in brand value). Rising nine positions, Investec (No.16, $700 million) is the second fastest riser, followed by retail giant Checkers (No.23, $531 million), part of the Shoprite Group that has focused heavily on accelerating its digital transformation, Kantar said.

Overall, Woolworths ($1.2 billion), placed 11th beating out Shoprite (13th, $801 million), Pick n Pay (17th, $642 million), and Checkers (23rd, $531 million), while online retailer Takealot placed 25th, with a brand value of $461 million.

Checkers was the top-performing brand for convenience – ensuring products and services fit well into consumers’ everyday lives.

“In a customer-centric environment, brands need to fit seamlessly in the everyday lives of their users. It’s hardly surprising to find Checkers as a top brand here. Its Sixty60 service is not the only rapid grocery delivery option in the country, but it is by far the most popular,” said Kantar.

Today, 28% of connected South Africans have used a Rapid Grocery Delivery (RGD) app in the last month, 49% of whom say they use one at least weekly, and 62% of whom say they intend to use one more often.

While the most visible of these is the Checkers Sixty60 app, other stores are also experiencing rapid growth. Pick n Pay’s ASAP! currently has more than a million downloads and grew its user base 300% last year. Woolworths’ shopping app Woolies Dash currently has 1.5 million users, and its overall ecommerce sales are growing by double digits, the data specialist noted.

“This rapid adoption of new forms of commerce is likely due to a number of factors, it said.

First, the services are largely inexpensive (Checkers Sixty60 costs only R35 per delivery). With petrol prices higher than ever, the brand has said this is on average 33% cheaper than driving to the store. “But maybe the biggest factor is a growing desire for seamless

purchasing, with people looking to get what they want hassle-free and as quickly as possible. Brands of all kinds should strive to meet this expectation by reducing the friction of commerce and improving their overall customer experience (CX).”

Biggest retailers

Professional services group Deloitte has published its annual Global Powers of Retail report for 2022, ranking the 250 biggest retail groups across the world – including five from South Africa.

The ranking is based on publicly available data for FY2019, covering fiscal years ended through June 2020. Deloitte analyses a company’s performance across geographies, sectors, and channels.

Shoprite Holdings was the largest retailer in the region, displacing Steinhoff in FY2020, and rising seven places in the Top 250 rankings: it recorded strong sales in the supermarket segment, despite the discontinuation of operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Madagascar.

The performance of the companies in SouthAfrica was overshadowed by the poor performance of troubled retailer Steinhoff, Deloitte said, which reported FY2020 retail revenue down 34.1%, and a US$2.6 billion net loss (30%), due to high finance costs, the effect of currency translation for foreign operations, and losses due to ongoing litigation

Steinhoff was dropped from the report in 2019 following its accounting fraud scandal that emerged in 2017/18, and the group’s subsequent failure to produce full-year results, but returned to the rankings in 2020 in the top spot.

The 2022 report marks the first time it has fallen below other retailers in the country. It saw a significant drop in the global rankings as well, from 72nd in 2021 to 124th in 2022. Pick n Pay and the Spar Group also dropped down the rankings.

Shoprite and Woolworths were the only local retailers to climb the rankings, with the former again being ranked in the top 100.

Spar was the only retailer to be ranked among the top 50 fastest-growing retailers in the world, Deloitte noted.

The table below outlines how South Africa’s biggest retailers compare in the Deloitte report.

# Retailer Countries FY2019 revenue ($m) FY2020 revenue ($m) Retail growth 5Y CAGR
100 Shoprite 13 9 995 10 892 +7.1% +5.3%
124 Steinhoff 29 13 524 8 839 -34.1% -6.7%
142 Spar Group 13 7 621 7 648 +13.5% +10.9%
194 Pick n Pay 8 6 173 5 632 +4.3% +5.1%
213 Woolworths 13 4 601 5 247 +9.1% +3.9%

Global retailers

These are the top 10 biggest retailers in the world:

# Group Country Countries of operation Retail Revenue (US$m)
1 Wal-Mart Stores United States 27 523 964
2 United States 17 158 439
3 Costco Wholesale Corp United States 12 152 703
4 Schwarz Group Germany 33 126 124
5 The Kroger Co. United States 1 121 539
6 Walgreens Boots Alliance United States 9 115 994
7 The Home Depot United States 3 110 225
8 Aldi Einkauf Germany 19 106 326
9 CVS Health Corporation United States 1 86 608
10 Tesco United Kingdom 8 31 347

Read: Here are the changes you can expect from your local retailer – including Woolworths, Checkers and Pick n Pay

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter