South African retail outlet, Shoprite, has said that expansion in Nigeria will face major setbacks in 2017 due to the dearth of shopping centres.
Reuters reports that the new Chief Executive, Pieter Engelbrecht, who took the reins from stalwart Basson in January, noted that the retailer would only open two stores in the next fifteen months.
Although sales in Nigeria was 60 per cent higher than a year ago in the six months to the end of December, the firm has scaled back its store openings in Africa’s most populous nation.
“We expected that we would be able to open between 11 and 13 stores in the next 15 months, and now we are down to two,” Mr. Engelbrecht said, citing a dearth of new shopping centres.
But the Shoprite boss still sees long-term growth on the continent and said Shoprite is best placed to be the grocer of choice for Africa’s 2.4 billion people by 2050.
“The speed at which it happens, that I don’t know,” he added.
In South Africa, still the largest of the retailer’s 15 African markets, sales grew 14 per cent to 71.3 billion rand ($5.5 billion).
In Nigeria, the retailer operates stores in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun, Kwara and other parts of Nigeria, with the largest being the store in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.