On Tuesday, Retail chain Shoprite announced the closure of its two remaining stores in Kenya in coming months as it slowly looks to exit the Kenyan market.
The decision to exit the Kenyan market has been influenced by underperformance and not meeting the return requirements said the retailer who made the announcement in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The retailer said it will close or dispose of its two remaining stores — Westgate Mall and Garden City — before December, shedding hundreds of jobs. This means the retailer will fully exit the Kenyan market barely two years after launching local operations.
“Most likely we will be out of the market by the end of the calendar year, meaning December, either by closing or disposing,” said Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht during the live cast presentation of the retailer’s results.
“Kenya, with three stores at year-end, has continued to underperform relative to our return requirements. Post year-end, one store has been closed given the ensuing economic impact of Covid-19,” the retailer added in a notice to shareholders while releasing financial results for the year to June.
“Supermarkets Non-RSA’s R28.2 million trading loss showed a marginal improvement on last year. However, [this] was notably impacted by the loss in our Kenyan business, the negative impact of restrictions and store closures due to Covid-19 and a R106.2 million reduction in interest income earned on government bonds and bills,” said Shoprite in its financials.
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