African food retailer plans to build logistics centres in Angola and Nigeria

logistics Derek ClarkShoprite Holdings Ltd, Africa’s largest food retailer, will open logistics centres in Angola and Nigeria in order to avoid road and port congestion in its new regional markets

According to chief executive officer Whitey Basson, sales at Shoprite’s 156 stores outside its home country of South Africa rose 20 per cent in the fiscal year through June, leading the establishment of distribution centres outside of the country to become a necessity.

Warehouses in Luanda, Angola, will be ready before the Christmas holiday in December 2012, and Shoprite will set up a “big distribution centre” in Lagos, Nigeria, as soon as it finds a site, said Basson.

The Cape Town-based company was also considering taking its first steps outside Africa in the event of a “good offer” from India, Brazil or Eastern Europe, he added.

Shoprite and local competitors such as Mr Price Group Ltd and Truworths International Holdings Ltd have been adding stores across Africa as oil and metal production boosts wealth in some of the world’s poorest continent.

The retailer opened 21 supermarkets in Africa outside of South Africa in the year through June. Of the company’s top 10 outlets, three were outside South Africa, Basson added.

Shoprite new openings this year have included a store in Nigerian capital Abuja and its first outlet in DR Congo. According to Basson, the company has been looking to add two more stores in Abuja.

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