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An outlet of Shoprite in Lagos. The South African-owned shopping mall chain has 25 outlets in Nigeria. Economic downturn caused by COVID-19 will impact negatively on consumer spending, according to experts / Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Shoprite announces plan to leave Nigeria

The South African-based supermarket chain Shoprite has announced its plan to exit Nigeria while reporting its business report on Monday (3 August) in Johannesburg. 

Shoprite said the decision was made after “approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the Group’s operating model in Nigeria.”

The company, Africa’s largest supermarket chain, said its business in Nigeria “may be classified as a discontinued operation”.

The company’s Nigerian business posted a -6.3% decline in sales for the year ending June 2020, according to its Monday update.

The company entered the Nigerian market in 2005 and went on to spread its tentacles across most of Nigeria’s largest cities.

Its exit continues a trend of South African retail business struggling in Africa’s most populated nation.

Mr Price, another South African retailer, announced plans to close its Nigerian business in June.

In 2014, South African retailer, Woolworths, also pulled out of Nigeria, citing high rents and duties, as well as marketing difficulties.

Shoprite’s expected closure in Nigeria comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced economies across the world into a slump and devastated entire industries.

Kola Tella

 

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