South Africa’s retail outlet Shoprite has closed shop at the Bulawayo Centre amid revelations local business mogul Raji Modi, owner of Bellevue Spar, has taken over the business to open another outlet — Aaroh Mart.
The outlet was closed on Monday, but Southern Eye Business witnessed workers putting up the Aaroh Mart name at the former Shoprite premises.
Shoprite officials were not immediately available to confirm or deny speculation in the market that the South African retail giant had quit trading in Zimbabwe.
But Modi, who owns a number of supermarket retail outlets in Bulawayo, confirmed to Southern Eye Business his takeover of the premises, adding he “bought out” Shoprite from the premises.
“We have taken over the premises which were rented by Shoprite including the staff and business has resumed as usual,” Modi said.
He revealed that he would retain all the staff previously employed by Shoprite, adding that he would look at expanding the business although he could not be drawn into giving more finer details on the issue.
The Shoprite supermarket in Bulawayo had been the only business interest of the South African retail giant listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Zimbabwe.
It entered Zimbabwe in 2000 with the opening of a shop at Bulawayo Centre. Shoprite has 153 supermarkets in 16 countries outside South Africa.
Foreign outlets registered a 28% jump in sales in the 12 months ending in June, nearly three times the rate of growth in home market during the same period.
As Africa’s biggest grocer shop group it booked a 15,6% jump in first-quarter sales helped by a robust showing outside its core South African market and favourable currency swings.
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