BOTSWANA Stock Exchange-listed Choppies Enterprises on Friday opened another store in Bulawayo as it strengthens its foothold on Zimbabwe’s retail sector.
Choppies entered the Zimbabwean market in October last year when it bought into Bulawayo businessman Raji Modi’s Sai Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd through Nanavac Investment.
Choppies has a 49% stake in Nanavac while local entrepreneur Siqokoqela Mphoko holds 51%. The retailer took over Modi’s 10 outlets before adding three more at the beginning of this year.
On Friday, the former Solomons Supermarket in the city centre became the 14 store, amid pomp and fun fare.
Hundreds of people attended the official opening ceremony. The branch manager, Mandlenkosi Dube, said the Bulawayo community had been supportive hence the expansion drive.
“It was not easy, but we pulled through. We have identified other places to set up some shops and by next month we would have opened another shop in Pumula East,” he told Southern Eye Business on Friday.
“We are thankful to the Bulawayo community for support and we are overwhelmed by the market’s response we got today.”
A number of Bulawayo residents took advantage of the official opening to do bargain shopping.
“We are really grateful for what Choppies has done in Bulawayo. They have made our lives easier because their products are affordable and of high quality,” said Sikhangele Tshuma, one of the shoppers.
Tariro Moyo said: “I usually prefer to buy from Choppies because it is convenient.
“It’s like a one-stop shop where you can find almost everything under one roof.”
Another customer, Meluleki Sibanda, said Choppies had opened job opportunities for many youths in the city and urged other companies to follow suit.
Choppies has 63 stores in Botswana and 13 outlets in South Africa.
It is reportedly planning to expand into Zambia, Mozambique and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the near future.
The retailer says it plans to expand to Harare and other parts of the country.
Choppies listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange in 2011 and its market capitalisation now stands at P4,9 billion.