South African retail giant Shoprite has disclosed plans to sell off all or a majority stake in Retail Supermarkets Limited, it’s subsidiary in Nigeria.
In an update posted on its website, Shoprite Group’s Board said it is considering divestiture from Nigeria.
The decision follows various potential investors’ approaches and is in line with its re-evaluation of Shoprite’s operating model.
As such, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited will be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for this year.
Shoprite Group says it will provide further updates to the market at the appropriate time.
With South Africa contributing more than 80 % of the retailer’s sales, Shoprite Group has said South African COVID-19 lockdown regulations implemented from 27 March 2020 had restricted trade in several categories within its supermarket business.
Shoprite Group’s retail business has four brands, Checkers, Checkers Hyper, Shoprite, and Usave.
The sales growth momentum achieved in the Group’s liquor business during the first half of this year continued up to February and accelerated, pre-lockdown, during March.
The retailer said COVID-19 lockdown regulations required the complete closure of its
liquor business for 66 days and subsequently restricted trade to four days a week (Monday to Thursday) for June.
Shoprite mentions that lockdown across 14 African countries, where it trades, affected sales significantly.
These lockdown restrictions, such as store closures, social distancing, transport limits, curb on people’s movement, trading hours, workforce limitations, and trade in alcohol, have impacted various regions to different times.
The parent company, Shoprite Holdings, is listed in South Africa on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), with secondary listings on Zambia and Namibia’s stock exchanges.
In April this year, Shoprite announced the closure of The Waterfront Karen outlet in Kenya. It now has only three stores since opening the first one in Kenya, less than two years ago.
ALSO READ: Shoprite Hints at Possible Exit from East Africa