ShopRite, South Africa’s grocery retailer is reportedly leaving Nigeria 15 years after it opened the store in the country.

In the trading statement released for the 52 weeks ending June 2020, the company said it has commenced the formal process to sell off all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria. The popular South African company also said that it has been approached by potential investors who are interested in taking over its 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 Nigeria Limited may be classified a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its result for the year,” a statement from the company reads.

This new development is coming barely two months after another South African brand, Mr Price, a clothing firm left the Nigerian market and Woolworths, a supermarket in 2014.

Recall that in an alleged xenophobic attack in South Africa assaulting Nigerians, ShopRite stores in Nigeria were burglarised and wrecked. Considering this, the stores in Lagos and other parts of the country were closed down and secured by the police.

The attacks, however, affected the company as it announced 8.1% loss of its sales in constant currency terms at the end of the second half of 2019 in April. In the light of this and other unfavourable working conditions which include, Nigeria’s harsh operation environment, highly competitive retail industry amongst others, ShopRite said it is divesting from its Nigerian operations.

Some customers, business owners and concerned citizens have taken to Twitter to express their grievances on the new development.

It’s interesting to note that Nigeria isn’t the first country the company has discontinued its operations. In 2019, ShopRite exited Australia and Poland.

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