It came at a rather surprising news early this morning that Africa’s biggest grocery retailer, Shoprite, are making a move to pack back to South Africa.
The Cape Town-based retailer announced plans to leave Nigeria just after 15 years of its operation in Nigeria.
They have now started a formal process to consider the potential sale of all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria. It is said in a trading statement for the 52 weeks to end June, which was released on Monday, August 3.
According to Bloomberg, this process was initiated after the retail chain 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.
Shoprite 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%.
This comes just weeks after it was revealed that another popular retail store, Mr. Price Group, is making plans to close its Nigerian business to focus on its home market business in South Africa.
Reacting to the news, Nigerians have taken to social media to express their opinions on the matter.
With majority blaming it on the present administration of the Federal Government of Nigeria, others seems to be glad with hopes other South African businesses like Multi-Choice, MTN follow their steps.
A Twitter user named Tife believes the imminent exit of Shoprite doesn’t change anything as long as God is with us:
“Shoprite can decide to leave Nigeria, as long as God isn’t leaving us, we go dey alright,” she wrote.
Another user directed his own opinion on Nigerian slay mamas who take to the mall to take pictures and snaps:
He wrote: “Dear slay mamas, bear in mind that it’s shoprite that’s leaving not the malls. You’ll still have places to take your pictures, without the yellow nylon though.”
Senator Shehu Sani wrote: “If Shoprite wants to stay,they can stay;if they want to go,they can go;it will help local supermarkets to grow.”
Check out more reactions below….