Pick n Pay in big move to boost online shopping capacity – for Black Friday 2022 and beyond

 ·25 Aug 2022

Pick n Pay has migrated its IT infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS), giving the group a huge boost to its online capacity and expanding its abilities to deliver in peak periods like Black Friday and the festive season.

The retail group is now looking to extend into other cloud-based applications to save customers money and make online shopping easier, says Chris Shortt, the group’s executive of information and technology.

The systems that run the company’s finance, payroll, merchandise management and online store – to name a few – have been moved to being housed in an AWS data centre in CapeTown.

The cloud housing is 140 times bigger than the group’s previous IT infrastructure, and the project forms part of its ‘Project Future’ to drive efficiencies across the business and reinvest savings into lower prices for customers.

This follows three years of research into the feasibility of migrating to the cloud, the group said.

“The scale at which they work is very different to what we’re used to, and we will be harnessing and leveraging these economies of scale across our business,” said Shortt, adding that this means that Pick n Pay no longer manages its own data centres or associated technology.

According to Pick n Pay, the partnership will allow for the company to expand its online store abilities in peak periods such as Black Friday and the festive season – as well as its online scheduled delivery shopping service.

“Previously, we’d overprovision resources to make sure our systems could manage increased trade or traffic. Our systems are now automated to respond to demand accordingly. We no longer carry the cost for additional infrastructure and capacity while we wait for the demand to catch up,” said Shortt.

He said the move to the cloud will unlock significant opportunities for the business and its competitiveness.

“AWS makes available tested learnings and experiences onto their platforms. We can learn from Amazon’s innovation work, thereby allowing us to adopt it faster than our competitors.”

“Further opportunities remain to be unlocked as we will continuously introduce new and innovative functionalities to meet our customer needs using serverless computing,” said Shortt.

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