Shoprite’s first store in Nigeria was opened in Lagos in 2005 and since then the company has grown to become a household name for many across Nigeria. However, despite having opened 25 stores across the country in the past 16 years, the company, which was headquartered in South Africa, seemed out of touch to Nigerians.
In the summer of 2021, it was announced the Nigerian branch of the supermarket giant was acquired by Nigerian investment firm, Ketron. And for the first time in a decade and a half, Shoprite would be owned by Nigerians, staffed by Nigerians, and most importantly devoted to Nigerians.
Shoprite serves as a cost-effective supermarket for all and, with 25 stores across the country, it is relatively easy for most to access one of Shoprite’s stores; yet the advantages of Shoprite stores still aren’t accessible to too many Nigerians.
Shoprite’s new leadership is dedicated to providing, of course, affordable and quality foods and goods to Nigerians across the country, but the company also wants to contribute to building up stronger local economies across the country.
Under the company’s new management, Shoprite has already begun acting on this commitment – with a new store opening in Kaduna soon and in partnership with the Edo state government, they have successfully agreed to begin construction of a new ultra-modern mall.
It was revealed in October that Shoprite has signed into agreement the construction of this new mall in Benin City. This mall will of course create hundreds if not thousands of jobs, be they initially for the masons, engineers and workers that will be employed in the building’s construction or, on a longer-term basis, in the managers and employees that will occupy the mall once the construction is completed.
In addition to the job opportunities at Shoprite, the finished mall will also encourage other businesses to set up in the mall, creating further employment and drawing even more customers to the mall further bolstering the local economy and providing much needed opportunities for smaller businesses to recover from the devastation caused by COVID-19.
The mall itself will implement state-of-the-art technologies and infrastructure to provide up to 1.5 million Nigerians across Edo State with easy and convenient access to thousands of excellent products.
An important stipulation that Shoprite pushed for was that the mall would include a State Library, providing Edo State’s citizens with an opportunity and environment in which they can learn and educate themselves.
This is but an example of the sorts of initiatives that are intrinsically linked with the development of further Shoprite stores. Shoprite’s revitalized and reinforced commitment to the welfare of Nigeria’s citizens demonstrates that the company’s overall goal is to boost Nigeria’s economy and provide exciting opportunities for the country’s people all while of course keeping them well fed. It is for these reasons that Nigeria needs more Shoprite stores in every state.
John Uche is a Finance Analyst; he researches and also occasionally writes on African businesses.