South Africa’s food grocery, Shoprite, says it has begun processes to end its business operations in Nigeria.
In a trading update filed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Monday morning, the retail giant said it was planning to discontinue its operations in Nigeria.
“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 update read.
“As such, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year. Any further updates will be provided to the market at the appropriate time.”
Shoprite launched in Nigeria nearly 15 years ago, opening its first store in Lagos in December 2005.
In April the supermarket announced it lost 8.1% of its sales in constant currency terms at the end of the second half (H2) of 2019 due to the September xenophobic attacks.
In September, Shoprite stores in Nigeria were vandalised and looted following an alleged xenophobic attack in South Africa, targeting Nigerians.
Owing to fears of further attacks several Shoprite stores across Lagos were sealed and guarded by police.
In the report released in April, the parent company stated that the impact of the store closures and drop in customer count resulted in a difficult half for the company.
ShopRite said the subsequent reduction in customer count during and after the crisis implies that some customers of the supermarkets in Nigeria boycotted the brand.