Africa’s largest food retailer , Shoprite, is making plans to exit its Nigerian business after 15 years. This is coming a month after Mr. Price Group announced plans to close its Nigerian business to focus on its home market business in South Africa.
In a operational and voluntary trading update to end June 2020 released on Monday, the South African based retailer said it has started a formal process of finding potential buyers and investors of all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria.
The Cape Town-based retailers becomes the second South African retailer to exit the Nigeria market after Woolworths Holdings Ltd. did the same six years ago.
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In a statement released, Shoprite said the outcome of the year doesn’t referent its operation in the country and any operations for the year is classified as discontinued.
The report showed that group sales for international supermarkets except Nigeria was 11.6% , and 1.4% decline in sales from 2018. The company operations in South African contributed to 78% of overall sales and 8.7% rose for the year. The Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown which affected it’s business operation this year resulted to a decline in customers visits by 7.4% with the average basket spend increased by 18.4%.
Last year, Shoprite sales dropped by 8.1% in Nigeria at the end of second half of 2019 over September Xenophobic attacks. This was as a result of store closures and reduction in customers to patronize the brand.
Shoprite is one of the biggest players in the Nigerian supermarket chain industry for about a decade. The South African based company opened the first store in Nigeria in 2005.