South African supermarket chain Pick n Pay Stores has axed 10% of its workforce as part of a streamlining process to ensure a sustainable and competitive growth model.

Earlier this year, the retailer identified opportunities to improve the efficiency and productivity of its workforce, which resulted in the introduction of a voluntary severance programme in April.

The job cuts affected different roles and functions across the company’s head office, regional structure, store operations and supply chain.

According to Pick n Pay Stores, the axed positions were a result of improvements in organisation, planning and technology.

With regard to the financial impact of the severance programme, the company indicated that compensation made to affected employees will be neutralised through the subsequent savings in salary costs by the end of this financial year.

"The axed positions were a result of improvements in organisation, planning and technology."

The move is expected to improve the operating costs of the company, as well as provide it with the financial wherewithal to reduce its retail prices.

Other initiatives taken up by the retailer include modernisation of its Smart Shopper customer loyalty programme to provide weekly discounts.

The company is also working on achieving a centralised supply chain to improve product replenishment and on-shelf availability.

Focusing on groceries, clothing and general merchandise, Pick n Pay Stores operates in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Swaziland and Lesotho.

Image: Pick n Pay store in Windhoek, Namibia. Photo: courtesy of Joshdboz via Wikipedia.