Checkout is a Family-Owned Supermarket in the FMCG Retail Industry of South Africa, trading for over 40 years.
We stock a variety of food products, household goods and small appliances at the most competitive prices. Our aim is to offer our customers quality products, excellent service and big savings.
We currently operate over 45 Corporate Stores in 7 Provinces around the country with our Head Office situated in Durban Central. Our Distribution Centre is located in KwaZulu-Natal which distributes all our products (food & non-food) to all our stores on a time efficient schedule.
Our company has a broad customer base with thousands of customers visiting our stores on a daily basis. The store formats vary as we have small, medium and large stores which are each uniquely designed to target consumers in LSM’s 2 - 8, but our product variety ensures that we cater for our customer’s needs.
Checkout has shown immense growth over the years and in 2017, it achieved turnovers exceeding R2 billion and employed 3,000 staff.
Checkout opened its doors on 16 June 1976, when 6 brothers pooled their resources to open what later became South Africa’s largest Independent Supermarket chain.
Coming from a previously disadvantaged background and facing the extreme difficulties of Apartheid, the brothers had to overcome many challenges and obstacles. The hard work and sheer determination of the family showed how success can be achieved even under the harshest conditions.
In 1978 the company joined the buying group, Shield Buying and Distribution, and became its largest member. Shield was acquired by Massmart, who later listed on the JSE and were eventually acquired by Walmart. During this period, Massmart also acquired Cambridge and Rhino. Both direct competitors of Checkout.
Checkout and Shield enjoyed mutual growth and benefits over a 40-year period. The relationship changed in September 2017, when Shield’s management was put under the leadership of the Cambridge CEO. Checkout was not informed of this management change at Walmart-owned Massmart, which made the CEO of Cambridge and Rhino (Checkouts direct competitors) the CEO of Shield as well. This gave Cambridge full and direct control of Shield and also gave Cambridge access to Checkouts 40 years of trading history. By October 2017, just one month after the change, Walmart-owned Shield reduced Checkout's credit facilities and stopped releasing orders on behalf of Checkout on an intermittent basis with nothing in writing. Suppliers were given a host of excuses when they called the Shield Call Center but once again, nothing was given in writing. There is litigation between the companies currently in the Durban High Court.
Since September 2020, Checkout has been placed into Business Rescue after 44 years of being South Africa’s largest independent Supermarket chain. The business rescue practitioners have allowed Checkout to continue its litigation with Walmart-owned Shield during the business rescue process and beyond. All the company assets and stores will be sold off as part of the rescue and 100’s of small South African suppliers will lose their money.
The good news for affected parties is that Checkout has secured funding to continue the litigation but we cannot disclose any more information regarding the case as it is ongoing. We will update our customers, suppliers and affected parties from time to time regarding the case.
What is concerning is that Walmart has signed a settlement agreement in the US for bribery in Mexico in 2019, 7 years after an investigative report in the New York times published the story.
We humbly apologise to our customers for the inconvenience of stock shortages since November 2017. We thank you for your support and assure you that we will find a way to continue offering you the Quality, Service and Savings that you are accustomed to getting from Checkout, as soon as the litigation is complete.
Our Service Departments go under the name of “Checkout GoFresh”. This includes our Bakery, Butcher, Hot Foods, Fruit & Veg, Spice Bar & Seafood in selected stores.
As part of its training, people development, talent management and succession plan programmes Checkout has offered its employees a range of training and development interventions:
Business Practice NQF Level 2
Understanding operations in the retail environment NQF Level 2
Wholesale and Retail Sales NQF Level 3
Wholesale and Retail Perishables NQF Level 3
Fresh Meat Processing Learnership NQF Level 3
Wholesale and Retail Supervision NQF Level 4
Wholesale and Retail Generic Management Level 4
Buying and Planning Level 5
Learners from Kwazulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumulanga and Gauteng had received training from a range of credited national training providers More than 200 Checkout employees graduated with accredited Wholesale and Retail qualifications.
Checkout is committed to equipping its employees so that a talent pool of competent people fit into the Company’s succession plan and grow towards supervisory and management levels. The development initiatives programme also falls within the ambit of employment equity expanding opportunities for all.
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