AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
AFRICAN supermarket giant Shoprite is quitting the Nigerian market after 15 years, the company has announced.
Shoprite has 26 stores in eight Nigerian states and employs 2000 people. It also has over 300 Nigerian suppliers, including small businesses and farmers.
In its latest trading update, Shoprite explained its reasons for the shock move. “Following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the Group’s operating model in Nigeria, the Board has decided to initiate a formal process to consider the potential sale of all, or a majority stake, in Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Shoprite International Limited. As such, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year. Any further updates will be provided to the market at the appropriate time,” the company said in the update.
Shoprite also revealed that its total business has done well, despite the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company posted a 6.4% increase, R156-billion, in total sales.
However, its non-South African operations, excluding Nigeria, were struggling and only contributed 11.6% to group sales.
“Second half constant currency sales growth of 6.3% was significantly impacted by lockdown regulations across the 14 African countries in which we trade. Lockdown restrictions pertaining to store closures; social distancing; transport restrictions; the movement of people; trading hours; workforce limitations and trade in alcohol impacted various regions to differing degrees at different times.”