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Shoprite to Close Remaining Stores and Exit Kenyan Market

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Shoprite Holdings has announced intentions to wind up its business in Kenya and exit the country. The retailer is planning to dispose of its two remaining stores just two years after opening their first store in Kenya.

“Kenya has continued to underperform relative to our return requirements,” the retailer said, adding that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic had contributed to its poor performance.

Shoprite has been reviewing its long term plans in Africa due to the deterioration of its revenue occasioned by the rate of currency fluctuations, supplier issues and low purchasing power in Angola, Nigeria and Zambia.

Read: 115 To Lose Jobs As Shoprite Closes Nyali Branch

Shoprite opened its first store at WestGate Mall in Nairobi amid chaos in the grocery sector following the downfall of Uchumi and Nakumatt Supermarkets, which previously dominated the market.

Shoprite was quite optimistic with their entry to the Kenyan market and had laid out a plan that would have seen them open at least seven stores in the country.

The retailer has since abandoned the plans and instead laid off 104 employees before closing its branch at the Waterfront mall in Karen, where it was the anchor tenant. The closure resulted in a court battle with the owners of Waterfront mall who demanded compensation claiming unpaid rent.

The retailer closed its second branch and laid off 115 employees at the City Mall in Nyali shortly thereafter.

Read also: SA Retailer Shoprite To Close Waterfront Karen Outlet, Terminate 104 Employees

Shoprite last month announced that it was considering selling or all part of its stake in its Nigerian subsidiary.

The Supermarket chain now has only two remaining stores in the city- one at Garden City and the other at WestGate Mall.

Shoprite is the biggest retailer in Africa with 2,300 across different countries. In its earnings call, the company reported a 6.4 percent rise in sales for the year ended June 28.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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