Pick n Pay has had a good week. Its interim results show volume increases not seen in years, at a time when the market is particularly tough. At the beginning of last year CEO Richard Brasher and senior executives recognised that if they kept doing what they were doing in the face of an increasingly tough economic environment, the group would be in a dire situation. So it reduced costs and improved efficiencies, enabling it to drop prices, deliver simpler and more personalised promotions, improve the fresh-food offering and upgrade stores. Brasher, who became CEO in 2013, said the group was stronger, fitter, more competitive and energetic, "and consumers have rewarded us with more turnover and market share". "We are seeing people tightening their belts and seeking greater value. When there are promotions, there's more shopping. People shop around so we have to be very good so they come back. People now tend to shop more often and their collective basket is bigger over a period of ti...

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