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After 15 years, Shoprite considers ending its Nigeria operations

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Africa’s biggest grocery retailer, Shoprite, might be exiting the continent’s most populated country, Nigeria, after 15 years.

The Cape Town-based retailer has started a formal process to consider the potential sale of all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria, it said in a trading statement for the 52 weeks to end June released on Monday.

Bloomberg reports that Shoprite is considering selling its Nigerian operations. This process was initiated after the grocer said in November that it was reviewing its supermarket operations outside South Africa and would consider exiting certain countries if that would help reverse regional sales declines. The retailer has been battling currency-induced inflation surges in several other African countries.

International supermarkets (excluding Nigeria) contributed 11.6% to group sales, and reported  1.4% decline in sales from 2018. South African operations contributed 78% of overall sales and saw 8.7% rise for the year.

As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, customer visits declined 7.4% but the average basket spend increased by 18.4%.

South African retailers have struggled in the Nigeria market. In June, Mr. Price Group made plans to close its Nigerian business to focus on its home market business in South Africa. 

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