Retail supermarket operator, Shoprite, has said it is exiting the Nigerian market, 15 years after it began operation.
The South African company announced this in a statement on Monday.
According to the retailer, it has commenced a formal process to consider the potential sale of all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria.
The statement read: “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. As such, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its result for the year.”
The retailer noted that further updates concerning its withdrawal from Nigeria will be provided to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) at “the appropriate time”.
It stated that its international supermarkets (excluding Nigeria) contributed 11.6 per cent to group sales.
It, however, reported 1.4 per cent decline in sales from 2018 for its non-South African markets following the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent lockdown novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns in various countries.
The company stated that its South African operations contributed 78 per cent of overall sales and saw 8.7 per cent rise for the year.
Due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, customer visits declined 7.4 per cent but the average basket spend increased by 18.4 per cent in South Africa.
Shoprite provides jobs for more than 2,000 Nigerians, has over 25 stores across eight states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
South African retailers have struggled in the Nigerian market.
Mr Price recently left Nigeria after Woolworths did the same six years ago.