Shoprite announces plan to leave Nigeria

Shoprite Nigeria, customers moving in and out
TJ
Tochi Juliet

Africa’s biggest grocery retailer, Shoprite Holdings Limited, has announced plans to discontinue operations in Nigeria, after 15 years.

The Board announced this on Monday in its operational and voluntary trading update for the year which ended on June 28, 2020. 

The South African company announced that it decided to discontinue its operation in Nigeria "following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the group’s operating model in Nigeria."

In a statement released, the multi-national retail Group revealed it had started a formal process to consider the potential sale of all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria.

The statement reads: "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’s total sales of merchandise may be on the rise, but it is struggling outside South Africa.

According to the report, the non-South-African supermarket operation of the company, excluding Nigeria, contributed a paltry 11.6 per cent to the group sales.

Its non-South-African sales also declined by 1.4 per cent in the year under review. The company blamed this decline on the lockdown announced in several African countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shoprite opened its first store in Nigeria in December 2005 and now has a total of 26 stores across eight states in the country including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The company also claim to have employed more than 2,000 people in Nigeria, of which 99 per cent of them are Nigerians.

Shoprite also claimed to have built more relationships with over 300 Nigeria suppliers, small businesses and farmers

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