Clothing retailer Pep has announced that it has committed to pay off one lay-by account in every one of their 2 150+ South African stores up to the value of R250 000 to kick off the Winter drive.

The company said to help families who were struggling to make ends meet, it launched the Lay-by Buddy initiative, inspired by an anonymous good Samaritan who, a few years back, settled the accounts of several random PEP lay-by customers. One year later, the fund received over R1 million in contributions from more than 5 700 individuals.

With the help of these contributions, according to the company, over 26 000 lay-by customers received vouchers to settle their outstanding lay-bys, enabling them to access the goods they needed.

Pep chief executive officer Jaap Hamman said: “Many customers find themselves stretched financially, and lay-bys offer some financial relief. It only requires a small deposit and can be cancelled at any time without penalties.”

Cynthia, one of the lucky Pep customers who was randomly selected to have their outstanding lay-by balance paid off, said, “I am sincerely grateful for the voucher, it has really helped me as I was wondering how to pay it off as it is winter and those clothes are really needed.”

The retailer is also encouraging the public to make further contributions in the hope of raising R600 000, which would match what was raised at the start of this year for their Back-to-School drive. “For as little as the same cost as a cup of coffee, these funds will help to settle around 4 800 customer lay-by accounts,” says Hamman.

Customers can contribute R2 from any Pep stores or R20 online by scanning the QR code to be directed to

According to the company, lay-by customers are selected at random and will receive an SMS voucher to settle their outstanding PEP lay-by.

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