By Martin Akende in Congo
SHOPRITE has announced its exit from the Democratic Republic of Congo market citing security concerns.
The giant chain store has also announced exit from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar market to concentrate on south African market.
The move was announced in a notice to the local media in Congo on Monday and the circular stated that the company will be closing down operations in DRC to focus on its business in South Africa.
It has three stores in the country and a market share in the supermarket sector of 15.8%, making it the second largest player. DRC is known to be an especially challenging and hostile market for supermarket operators and importers alike, with high costs and significant market access issues.
Shoprite was the only international supermarket chain present in DRC. In the company’s quarterly trading update on the 14th November 2022, sales in its South Africa supermarkets grew for the first quarter of 2023 by 19.9% and this growth in sales was attributed to increased customers, volume growth, and higher average basket spent.
In 2021, about 16 years after it opened its first outlet, Shoprite sold its Nigerian business to a company owned by a group of local investors.