Thursday, June 2, 2022


 Dear Readers,

         The Management of the Sun Valley Checkers Hyper in Cape Town leaves a lot to be desired.

                  I live in that area and I shop at this Hyper quite regularly and in my experience the help desk inside the main entrance is left completely unmanned at times and items in the hardware section don’t have clearly visible prices on them.

What really capped my bad management experience at this Hyper a couple of weeks ago was when an apple crumble special was promoted on a large board outside the main entrance at R39.99. When I saw this I went in only to find that the apple crumble there was priced at R44.99.

This sent me on a hunt for the store manager. After speaking to a couple of people who said they were ‘one of the managers’ I finally located the manager Wayne Rosenberg. After I pointed out this price discrepancy to him and told him I wanted to buy an apple crumble he went to a till and organised for me to get it at the promoted price.

The entrance to the Sun Valley Checkers Hyper

We all make mistakes so I expected him to immediately ensure that the price inside the shop matched the one on the board. But he did no such thing. Several days later nothing had changed so it is anyone’s guess as to how many people paid R44.99 for an apple crumble they could have got for R39.99. It should not have been up to a customer to point out such an obvious mistake which should have been seen earlier by the manager or one of the other managers and when the manager was made aware of this he should have corrected the situate immediately.

I put all this in an email to Pieter Engelbrecht the CEO of Shoprite Holdings the owners of Checkers. I ended it with “In my experience the service at this Hyper is nothing like as good as what you get at the nearby Pick n Pay.” He passed my complaint down the line to Brandon Anthony in the Customer Care Department.

Brandon thanked me for bringing my concerns to their attention and then referred to the various aspects of my complaint. This is what he told me:


·      “The staffing issue at the Information Counter has been addressed with the Front Admin Manager to ensure that there is constant coverage.

·      “The prices in the store have been updated and corrected which is a standard procedure and will be continually monitored.

·      “Regarding the price discrepancy on the apple crumble, the Branch Manager has been addressed about not immediately attending to the error on the price board outside and the price the item scanned for. The matter has also been addressed with the Stock Administrator and Department Manager to ensure that the pricing and scanning of products is correct, to minimise the likelihood of such an issue from reoccurring.

         “We would like to apologise for the frustration you experienced and hope that your future experiences in our store will be better.”


Jon, a Consumer Watchdog with a taste for apple crumble.

P.S. There are 37 Checkers Hypers and 202 Supermarkets in the Shoprite Group.

P.P.S. It’s rare to find a CEO of a large company who is not too high and mighty to answer emails sent to his or her email address by a journalist like me because they always have somebody to delegate it to. Pieter Engelbrecht as it turned out was not in that rare category, unlike Richard Brasher, who recently retired as Pick n Pay’s CEO. Richard set the Gold Standard for CEOs who answer their own emails. He would reply to mine sometimes within an hour or even on a Saturday and as a lone freelance it was not as though I was employed by a big newspaper or some national media group.


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