Shoprite anchor shops in Nigeria are being offloaded to yet to be named buyers, the retail giant has said.

In a filing to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Company emphatically said its next report will not include Nigerian operations.

“Following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the Group’s operating model in Nigeria, the Board has decided to initiate a formal process to consider the potential sale of all, or a majority stake, in Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Shoprite International Limited.

“As such, Retail Supermarkets … may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year.”

The news sent shockwaves among shop floor employees over their fate with an interested Nigerian company or consortium.

From first Lagos store launched December 2005, Shoprite has additional 25 stores across eight states and employs over 2,000 persons.

Staff who spoke to Enugu Metro worried that local buyers may not successfully manage standards and operating business model.

“There is no doubt that this will negatively impact workers. People will lose their jobs,” a supervisor in Enugu said.

The retail giant had in November 2019 publicly floated the idea of doing away with some of its African operations.

The need to reverse regional sales declines fueled the decision to review operations outside South Africa and exit certain countries.

The grocery chain operates in 11 African countries outside South Africa but only the Nigerian operations is being wound down.

South Africa sales surged during Covid-19 lockdown, adding to 78 per cent of overall sales and 8.7 percent rise.

International sales, minus Nigeria, contributed 11.6 per cent to group sales and reported 1.4% decline in sales from 2018.

Other countries where it currently operates are Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The decision to quit may also be linked to displeasure over a court-imposed $10million costs against Shoprite for breach of contract.

Shoprite workers panic on news that the South African retail giant is about to sell its 25-store Nigerian operations to new owners

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