Random Pep customers are getting R1 million in lay-bye write-offs – and you can contribute

Business Insider SA
  • A R337,000 donation in December triggered a wave of people paying off lay-bye accounts at Pep, much of it via Facebook group turned NGO #ImStaying.
  • Pep has now set up a system for anyone to pay money into random lay-bye accounts, either in store or online.
  • The company is kick-starting the campaign with R1 million of its own.
  • Much of its open lay-byes are for winter and children's clothing, Pep says.
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In December one person paid R337,000 into a set of 363 lay-bye accounts at a Pep store in Mossel Bay. That random approach to charity inspired a wave of similar payments chronicled on the Facebook group #ImStaying, with Pep itself contributing R500,000.

Now the movement has gone online, with a formal system for anyone to buy a voucher that will be sent to a random lay-bye account holder.

Known as Lay-by Buddy vouchers, they can be bought on the Pep website (by clicking here) or in stores, with a minimum voucher of R10.

This time, Pep says, it is contributing R1 million in write-offs on lay-bye accounts as its own contribution.

“A huge percentage of the current lay-bys at Pep are for winter wear, baby and children’s clothing," said the chain's CEO Jaap Hamman in a statement.

The original wave of donations helped people over the January financial hump. Now, Pep says, it is concerned that the Covid-19 disaster, and accompanying loss of income for many, may see children go cold this winter.

The buddy system is in partnership with #IamStaying, which has issued a challenge to its members to contribute.

The original donation that sparked the initiative came with a letter to each recipient that read:

“I am grateful that I’m [in a] position [to] settle your PEP Store lay-by. I know it’s up to people to help people. It’s just the decent thing for all of us to do, disregarding any religious beliefs. I also had lay-byes at PEP a long time ago.”

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