Africa’s biggest grocery retailer and the South Africa-owned chain of stores, Shoprite, is exiting Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest market–after 15 years.
Shoprite is re-evaluating its operating model across Africa, amidst logistic concerns and the novel coronavirus pandemic.
A dip in sales in Nigeria means it is now shutting shop.
“Following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the group’s operating model, in Nigeria, the Board has decided to initiate a formal process to consider the potential sale of all, or a majority stake, in Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Shoprite International Limited,” the company said in a statement.
“As such, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year. Any further updates will be provided to the market at the appropriate time.”
Shoprite Holdings has reported a drop in annual earnings, hurt by an impairment charge it recorded during the year.
The Cape Town-based retailer has started a formal process to sell all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria.
International supermarkets (excluding Nigeria) contributed 11.6% to group sales, and reported 1.4% decline in sales from 2018.