Pick n Pay to go off-grid as Eskom load shedding scans expensive

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Retail giant Pick and Pay is fast looking at alternative energy sources in order to go off the grid as the country battles through scheduled and inconsistent blackouts.

Eskom has implemented a series of load-shedding stages this week, as a plan to keep the lights on.

Although this is a plan for the national power utility it has signaled trouble for many industries and Pick n Pay is fast on the contingency plan route.

Eskom moved to an unexpected Stage 4 load shedding schedule on Tuesday after five generators broke down unexpectedly overnight.

This left many industries grappling with the ramifications.

With Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer highlighting a grim but realistic overview of the expected time frame of rolling blackouts, it’s clear to see why Pick n Pay which partially depends on the grid is slowly migrating off it.

Oberholzer said the country could expect load shedding for another 12 to 18 months.

That’s an expensive 18 months for stores that mainly deal with a vast amount of perishable products.

Pick n Pay is on the fast track to jump off the grid according to it’s CEO Pieter Boone who has highlighted the chain stores growth in the last quarter.

Pick n Pay Stores Limited has delivered a massive half year performance for the period ending 28 August 2022, with increased earnings per share soaring into the double digits.

The groups turnover grew by double digits of 11.5% from around R 46 billion to R 51.3 billion.

While the positive move was welcome, the group’s CEO highlighted how the group was in talks with land loads about using other sources of power.

“It’s part of our strategic initiative, of the plan,” said Boone

“You will see in our new east port EC we are fully on solar. That building will be renamed with [green label].

“We are in close discussions with landlords in order to find alternative sources.”

The goal was to move Pick n Pay stores of Eskom’s grid.

This would translate to the likes of boxer stores among other Pick n Pay affiliated chain stores moving off the grid.

As an alternative to consumers experiencing blackouts while inside retail outlets, the store has promoted their Qualisave store division as an alternative to shoppers.

The online service is Pick n Pay’s temporary alternative as it migrates off the grid.

Customers have indicated a different shopping pattern according to Boone, and this was Pick n Pay’s thumbs up for promoting online shopping.

This week the country can expect a bumpy Eskom stage level schedule, with Stage 2 on Wednesday, Stage 3 on Thursday and Stage 2 on Friday.

Also read: Here’s why Eskom pushed load shedding to Stage 4

Gopolang Moloko
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