When Richard Brasher took the wheel at Pick n Pay in 2013, he had to steer a ship that two decades earlier had been the envy of the retail sector but had since fallen behind. Rivals Shoprite, Woolworths and Spar had all benefited from Pick n Pay's woes. After a 26-year-long career at UK grocer Tesco, Brasher had the task of navigating a very competitive retail space without much local knowledge. "The most challenging thing is not having grown up here in SA and not understanding the market, or the level of diversity and complexity of the market. "Sometimes they look superficially the same, and what I know to be true six years on is that it's definitely not the same," Brasher told Business Times this week after the release of the company's full-year financials. Shortly after taking over the reins, Pick n Pay exited its Mauritius operations and ended its partnership in Mozambique. Both countries had faced tough economic conditions and Brasher had enough to focus on in Pick n Pay's home...

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