The High Court in Cape Town has interdicted Pick n Pay from selling its Crafted Collection products, as they resemble the Shoprite Checkers Forage and Feast brand.
“The Respondent (Pick n Pay) is interdicted and restrained from passing off its Crafted Collection products as those of the Applicant (Checkers/Shoprite) or as being connected in the course of trade with the Applicant,” according to the judgment.
Consumers, though, will still see the Crafted Collection brand on the Pick n Pay shelves, as the retailer is taking the judgment up on appeal.
Pick n Pay said that they are disappointed with the judgment.
Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath also noted that Pick n Pay cannot use infringing get-ups or any other get-up that may be similar or confusing to the Forage and Feast range of products.
It should be noted that Checkers came up with the range of products in partnership with South Africa’s first Michelin-starred chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.
In the judgment on November 17, Judge Goliath said: “Considering the notable similarities in terms of colour, typefaces, and packaging, I am satisfied that the Crafted Collection range, viewed holistically, is almost certain to confuse and deceive the public and potentially result in damages for the applicant (Checkers/Shoprite)”.
DECEIVING THE CONSUMER
The judge went on to say that after viewing the products, it is likely that consumers would be confused or deceived into buying the Pick n Pay product, thinking there is a connection or association to the established Checkers brand.
“In my view, the notional consumer of average intelligence, viewing the products as a whole or looking at the dominant features of each get-up in general, is likely to be confused or deceived into buying the product of the respondent, believing that there is a connection or association, in the course of trade, between Checkers and the goods offered by Pick n Pay,” Goliath said.
Pick n Pay said in a statement that it was never their intention to mislead customers, and they do not believe that they have done so.
“We are proud of our Crafted Collection range, which gives customers great quality, value, and innovation. We will seek leave to appeal the judgment,” the retailer told IOL.
WE AIDED AND ABETTED THEIR SUCCESS
In October, Sean Summers was brought back as CEO and replaced Pieter Boone after dismal financial results.
Summers did not hold anything back and said in an interview with Alec Hogg that he wanted Pick n Pay back on top, taking that spot away from Checkers.
Moreover, he felt that Checkers and their leadership team became the leading food retailer in South Africa by essentially copying Pick n Pay’s roadmap.
Summers says Whitey Basson, the managing director and Chief Executive of Shoprite Holdings Ltd and Pieter Engelbrecht, the current CEO of Shoprite, used Pick n Pay’s playbook to get Checkers to the number one spot.
He argued that Checkers essentially used the growth path that he had implemented with Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman in the 1990s.
Summers did note that Checkers has done a great job, and he commended them on their work.
“They have done an excellent job. Ten out of ten to them,” he said.
“They have taken our playbook and thrown it back at us.”
“Pick n Pay has aided and abetted their success by staying quiet on the sidelines,” he explained.