Africa’s biggest grocery retailer ShopRite has debunked rumors making the rounds that they’re quitting Nigeria. The news broke during the early hours of Monday, August 2nd stating that ShopRite was packing up operations within the country.
This development was attributed to a sharp plummet in sales, resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Shoprite Nigeria has now refuted the information, saying there is no truth in it. In a phone conversation with Vanguard, the country director for Chastex Consult, Ini Archibong, in a telephone conversation with Vanguard, said:
“We have only just opened to Nigerian investors which we have also been talking to just before now. We are not leaving, who leaves over a $30billion investment and close shop? It doesn’t sound right. We only just given this opportunity to Nigeria investors to come in and also help drive our expansion plan in Nigeria. So we are not leaving.”
I have tried to say this as too many people as I can. There should be no panic at all and all of that. There is no truth in that report”.
In a now circulating statement from ShopRite Holding, the company had said it was changing its model of business and hinted at quitting its operations in Nigeria.
Part of the statement read:
“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,” the company said in a statement”.
The news was greeted with distress from Nigerians as many are already grappling with unemployment and suspected exit may leave a staggering vacuum.