Johannesburg – Shoprite is planning to open its first stores in Kenya. It plans to open the stores by the filling retail space left empty by the struggling Nakumatt Holdings chain.
The Shoprite director who runs Shoprite’s African operations outside its home market Gerhard Fritz told News24, “We are currently in talks with some of the property owners but nothing has been signed.”
He confirmed all of this in an email he sent as a response to the questions from News24.
He also went on to say that taking over vacated outlets would be the preferred way for this company to enter East Africa’s largest economy as the retail market there is “too well established” to build new stores.
Fritz also confirmed that Shoprite also plans to buy two Nakumatt sites in Uganda. The South African company’s shares closed 0.9% higher at R207.49 rand on Friday in Johannesburg, valuing the grocer at R123 billion.
Shoprite faces competition in Kenya from retailers including Game – owned by South African retailer Massmart Holdings, which is controlled by Wal-Mart Stores. It also faces competition with Kenya’s big grocery stores like Chandarana Foodplus Supermarkets and Naivas Supermarkets.