South African retailer Pick n Pay today (4 September) confirmed that it will lay off 400 administrative workers as it works to boost efficiency.

“Pick n Pay… is undertaking a restructure of its support offices to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the business. The restructure will result in about 400 people leaving the company over the coming months,” a spokesperson for the company told just-food.

Pick n Pay has seen profits plummet, in spite of growing sales, as it ramps up investment in initiatives such as Smartshopper, the implementation of specialist category buying and the continued investment in improving central distribution capability.

For the six months to the end of August, trading profit slid 41.5% to ZAR288m (US$33.1m), while EBITDA fell 16.4% to ZAR737m.