Kampala. South African retail giant, Shoprite is expanding into East Africa with new stores in Kenya and is expected to open others in Uganda.
The supermarket chain recently opened a new branch on Acacia Mall and expects to open another on Village Mall, Bugolobi.
According to Business Daily, it opened its first store on the Westgate Mall, three years since the company had indicated its desire to expand into other East African countries beyond Uganda.
The South African retail chain, according to its 2018 integrated report announced its entry in Kenya with a single branch before expanding further to tap into the country’s growing middle class.
The expansion comes slightly over a year after a number of retail stores across East Africa such as Uchumi and Nakumatt have experienced serious volatilities, forced to close regional operations.
Nakumatt, just like Uchumi, closed all its regional operations except in Kenya where its has also lost a lot of ground.
Mr Charles Ocici, the Enterprise Uganda executive director, told Daily Monitor early this week that Shoprite could have conducted thorough research which has informed its new expansion appetite, saying the supermarket business, which heavily relies on suppliers has been burdened by commercial loans.
“Suppliers must want to supply you so you do not get loans, whose interest payment might stifle the profit balance,” he said.
Shoprite Holdings conducts business in supermarket stores, furniture, liquor and pharmaceuticals among others. It also operated other supermarket brands including U$ave and Checkers.
According to its integrated report, the supermarket chain reported R145.3b (Shs37 trillion) turnover and R8.0b (Shs2.6 trillion) trading profit.
The company employs 147,478 people in 15 countries in which it operates.
The supermarket business, especially in Africa has been disrupted by technology as some shoppers have now moved to online operations.
While the KPMG report on the 2018 Retail Trends indicates that store closures in certain countries hit an all-time high in 2017, it disputes the phenomenal painted by some analysts that physical supermarkets will be swallowed by technology