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Alcohol sales ban exposed just how big liquor has become for food retailers

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Long queues at Pick 'n Pay liquor in Parklands on June 01, 2020 in Cape Town.
Photo: Misha Jordaan via Gallo Images
Long queues at Pick 'n Pay liquor in Parklands on June 01, 2020 in Cape Town. Photo: Misha Jordaan via Gallo Images

The restriction of alcohol sales during the current lockdown has given a glimpse of just how important the liquor business has become to Pick n Pay since the company decided to open stand-alone liquor stores almost two decades ago.

Pick n Pay does not separately disclose the contribution of its liquor stores to overall sales. Of the R2.8 billion sales lost because of lockdown restrictions, a big chunk was attributed to alcohol sales restrictions.

During the group's results presentation on Tuesday, chairman Gareth Ackerman called on the government to explain the "discrepancy" of allowing on-site consumption over weekends while forbidding bottle stores from operating.   

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