Retail giant Carrefour announces that it will buy Shoprite stores in Uganda after the South African owned retailer announced its intention to leave the market after more than 20 years.
Carrefour, a supermarket chain has announced it will be taking over ownership of Shoprite stores in Uganda after the South African owned store took the decision to quit the Ugandan market following over 20 years of full-service delivery.
In a statement announcing the takeover, Hani Weiss, the chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Retail said Carrefour brings on board a whole lot of goods and brands enough to fit the Ugandan market.
Weiss said they will take over ownership of six stores that were previously housing Shoprite including the one located in Lugogo Mall, Clock Tower, Arena Mall, Acacia Mall, Village Mall and Victoria Mall.
“We welcome the opportunity to bring our unique Carrefour offering of unbeatable value, range, international standards to more customers across Uganda.
This agreement represents our continued investment in East Africa. We look forward to strengthening our offering in the region and supporting local talent through employment and career development opportunities,” Weiss said.
About a month ago, Shoprite which has for years been one of Uganda’s leading shopping outlets announced their decision to depart the Ugandan market citing a number of reasons.
In the same statement, the top retailer also said they were ceasing operations in Madagascar. Explaining the reason for their departure, Shoprite indicated that they were refocusing their resources to more profitable markets have been in Uganda for now 21 years ever since they first set base.
It must be remembered that Shoprite had already ceased its operations in sub- Saharan financial powerhouses Nigeria and Kenya.
The company had more than 2,900 outlets in 15 countries by the beginning of the year, including five in Uganda, before taking the decision to withdraw their operations from those countries.
Most Shoprite shops are located in Southern African countries.
This, however, came after the retailer registered an 8.4% fall amounting to sh784 million Rand (US$ 51.8 million), with Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar contributing about 46 million rands (US$ 3 million) of the losses in 2020. The figure was up from the Shs. 24.5 billion in losses that were registered in 2017.
The retailer has over the years reiterated that they have underperformed in most of the East African countries where they have been operating.
This is one of the main reasons many cite is behind their recent departures.
Earlier on there were several reports that they (Shoprite) had agreed to take over the ownership of Massmart’s food unit for as much as 1.36 billion Rand (US$90 million) citing that this also influenced them to quit the Ugandan market to focus on Southern Africa.
Since then, a number of reports have pointed out the fact that a United Arab Emirates-based franchise holder for French retailer, Carrefour is holding talks that will see them take up Shoprite’s position and rights in Uganda including its premises and position.
Being Africa’s largest food retailer with stores in 15 countries, Shoprite has been in Uganda since 2000 when they first opened their shop in the country employing nearly 300 Ugandans in five branches.