Multinational supermarket chain, ShopRite has finally shut down its operations in Nigeria; selling its stake to a consortium of local investors.
The development comes 16 years after ShopRite opened its first outlet in Nigeria.
ShopRite is Africa’s largest food retailer. Reports in the South African media indicate that the company has sold its Nigerian operations to a company owned by a group of local investors led by property firm Persianas Investment, Ketron.
Also, the new buyers have reportedly decided to move from an ownership model to a franchise-based model.
ShopRite owns about 25 outlets across eight states in Nigeria. However, Ketron has equally indicated interest to keep the new and existing Shoprite outlets; while also displaying more Nigerian-made products.
Since opening its first store in Lagos in December 2005, the company had rapidly expanded its network across Nigeria; with a statement on its website indicating that ShopRite employs more than 2000 people, of which 99% are Nigerian citizens. It also claims to have consistently supported other Nigerian businesses and local enterprise; specifically by building a relationship with over 300 leading Nigerian suppliers, small businesses and farmers; securing a wide assortment of local brands. Also, Shoprite says it has supported projects in the various Nigerian communities, especially those that focus on hunger relief, women empowerment and skills development.
However, the company ran into some heavy weather recently over supply chain disruptions; as well as difficulty in repatriating funds.
Shoprite is the latest South African business to pull out from Nigeria, Africa’s largest market. The brand has a number of supermarkets operating in 15 countries with about 35 million customers in Africa and in the Indian Ocean islands.
Its exit from Nigeria comes after similar exits by the likes of other foreign companies such as Mr Price Group, Woolworths and Truworths International.