South Africa-owned Retailer, Shoprite has faulted viral media reports that the company plans to shut down operations in Nigeria.
Business Elites Africa (BEA) as well as many National newspapers earlier reported that the megastore may have been hit by the global economic mess occasioned by the novel Coronavirus – consequently its decision to close shop in Nigeria.
The Country Director for Chastex Consult, Ini Archibong, who spoke to Vanguard newspaper, however, said the circulated reports are not true.
He said, “Shoprite is not leaving Nigeria. We have only just opened to Nigerian investors which we have also been talking to just before now. We are not leaving, who leaves over a $30billion investment and close shop? It doesn’t sound right.
“We only gave this opportunity to Nigeria investors to come in and also help drive our expansion plan in Nigeria. So we are not leaving.
“I have tried to say this to many people as I can. There should be no panic at all and all of that. There is no truth in that report.”
The report had indicated that Shoprite has been struggling. The company reported a loss by the second quarter of 2019 and it reported a sharp decline in sales of 6.3 percent in the 2020 fiscal year in Nigeria.
Recall that Mr Price, Truworths, also South Africa-owned retailers exited Nigeria a few years back. They were said to have found it difficult to sustain profitability in the country.
BEA is yet to receive official communication from the management of Shoprite Nigeria as our enquiries about the matter have not been responded to.