For several years, Pick n Pay, one of Africa's biggest grocers, struggled to emerge from the doldrums, with competitors well ahead in the food retail race. But this week a trading update from the retailer shows an improved performance. Bjorn Samuels, an analyst at Argon Asset Management, said the trading statement highlighted a strong performance by Pick n Pay that outdid its listed peers. "It's safe to say that they have gained market share. The reason for the outperformance is due to both internal and external factors, in our opinion. We view the Shoprite group as Pick n Pay's biggest competitor and think that the negative impacts of the SAP implementation and distribution centre strikes [at Shoprite] allowed Pick n Pay to steal some market share from the Shoprite group," Samuels said. Shoprite has been the market leader in central distribution, but Pick n Pay's hefty investment in its own central distribution network is now paying off. More efficient delivery to its store network...

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