Pick n Pay supermarket sees shares drop following mortuary-food storage row
South Africa’s second largest supermarket chain Pick n Pay saw its share price fall on Monday following allegations that it was sharing a storage facility with a mortuary for one of its branches.
The retailer has strongly refuted the allegations after an exposé by the Sowetan newspaper, which investigated the storage warehouse at Rayton, east of Pretoria.
The storeroom, which was allegedly used as a food storage facility for the local Pick n Pay, was cleared on Sunday after the newspaper began asking questions, according to the report which has been widely followed up by news organisations across the country.
Pick n Pay in Rayton, east of Pretoria, has denied it was its food, and said the goods belonged to a nearby filling station.
“No goods stored in this building belong, or have ever belonged, to Pick n Pay – items stored in this building belong to the garage shop close to the building,” Pick n Pay spokesman Tamra Veley said.
When Sowetan visited the area on Monday – the day after the story made national headlines – the storeroom had been emptied of cooking oil, soft drinks, maize meal flour and energy drinks that were packed in the room on Friday.
Workers were busy filling open spaces between the wall and the roof with bricks and cement throughout the day, in what seemed to be renovations, said Sowetan reporters.
There was no one at Angels Funeral Services, the mortuary served by the shared storeroom, according to those reports, and all its doors were closed and locked.
A man identified as SJ da Silva, who owns the Rayton Park Pick n Pay, has rejected Sowetan claims that any of the food stored at the facility was being sold in the local branch of the national supermarket chain, though goods stored at the facility were being sold at a nearby garage shop, which he also owned he explained.