Shoprite Uganda, a subsidiary of South African retailer Shoprite Group Ltd is reportedly on the verge of exiting Uganda amid uncertainties and decline in shopping returns since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Well placed sources as Quoted by CEO East Africa Managazine say Majid Al Futtaim, the Franchise holder for French Supermarkets giants in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia holding talks to acquire the all Shoprite outlets in Uganda as the exit talk gains momentum.
Shoprite currently has five (5) stores in Uganda and a sixth was on its way at the newly constructed Arena Mall in Nsambya, on the Eastern outskirts of Kampala’s Central Business District.
The exit, according to CEO Magazine is a result of underperformance of its retail stores and massive reduction in shoppers. “Between you and me, this deal is closed. They are finalising the practical details and possibly filing the necessary regulatory paperwork, before formally announcing the deal,” a source told the magazine.
Both Shoprite Group and Majid Al Futtaim have neither denied, nor confirmed the deal. The retailer has also indicated a possible exit from African markets outside South Africa informed by a review in its operations and declining sales.
However, it is not clear, where the retailer plans to exit or maintain operations.
The exit of Shoprite, on the heels of other exits by Nakumatt, Tuskys, Uchumi raises questions around the sustainability of big supermarket chains in Uganda.
Interestingly though, local brands such as Quality Supermarkets and Capital Shoppers are said to be performing better.