Pick n Pay will donate all profits from its sales on Sunday to charitable causes in honour of former president Nelson Mandela, the retailer said.
"This initiative is a very positive one, and both pays tribute to Nelson Mandela and will benefit those whom he held closest to his heart," human resources director Isaac Motaung said on Saturday.
"We held discussions with our staff at store and support office levels, and also with our customers."
The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) and the South African Commercial, Catering, and Allied Workers' Union have called for a boycott of Pick n Pay because the retailer would not close on Sunday.
"We are disappointed that Pick n Pay has not heeded the call not to trade tomorrow [Sunday] in honour of the late president Nelson Mandela," YCLSA spokesperson Khaya Xaba said.
"Pick n Pay is choosing profit over mourning this gallant hero of our liberation struggle."
Pick n Pay chief executive Richard Brasher said the retailer considered closing its doors the day of Mandela's funeral, but it believed a more practical and tangible way of benefiting people's lives was donating the profits.
Retailers closing on the day
"It is entirely understandable that some staff may wish not to work on Sunday. I respect that choice, and they will be entirely free to choose not to work. Pick n Pay stores on Sunday will be manned only by staff who have chosen to volunteer to work," said Brasher.
Checkers, the JD Group, Edcon, and Virgin Active gyms would be among the retailers to close their doors on Sunday. – Sapa
Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, at the age of 95 last Thursday. – Sapa