By Angeline Mgbele, Bureau Chief, North
Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited (RSNL), operating as Shoprite Nigeria, has announced plans to close its Ado Bayero Store in Kano from January 14, 2024, just as it hinted of the retail chain’s two to five-year bullish growth plan for the Nigerian market.
Cyber Era NG learns that while resting the Kano outlet, Shoprite optimistically mulls a bullish two to five-year growth plan to open four outlets annually across the country as bold expressions of its confidence in the Nigerian market and the Nigerian people.
In a statement issued in Lagos, south west, Nigeria, Friday, January 12, 2024 and signed by company’s Chief Executive Officer, Hubertus Rick, the company disclosed that, “while we will close down stores that are performing sub-optimally as the consumer economy tightens, we plan to open four new outlets annually across the country guided by what reliable retail market research tells us.” Aside the planned store closure and on a brighter note, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited has also commenced some store reopening across different locations expected to span across the outgoing year 2023 right into 2024. The locations included Circle Mall, Lekki, Garden City Mall Port Harcourt and Galaxy Mall, Kaduna and Shoprite Benin.Shoprite has also demonstrated the resilience of its brand with the audacious restoration of its store at Circle Mall, Lekki, to business years after it was completely raised during the End SARs protests in October 2020.
The company sites consumer buying power, high cost of doing business, rental cost and its ethical commitment amongst the reasons for the decision to close the Kano outlet in the meantime.
Shoprite also revealed that the reason for its non-renewal of the rent at the Ado Bayero store is the store’s negative financial performance and the general business climate. Mr. Rick also clarified that the decision was not made lightly, as the company understood the impact it might have on its employees and the community. He however said, “after careful evaluation of the financial situation of the store and the current business climate, Shoprite believes it is the best course of action for the long-term growth of our organization.” Rick also emphasised that the decision did not imply that Shoprite would not do business in Kano when the business environment became favourable as Kano was a big city with room for a Shoprite concept.
Rick, however, assured of plans by the company to assist employees who might be affected by the difficult decision saying, “we understand that this news may be difficult to digest, and we want to assure you that we are here to support you during this transition period. Your well-being is our top priority, and we will do everything we can to assist you in finding new opportunities within our company. We encourage you to apply for any vacant positions in our existing stores across the country through the Human Resources department. Additionally, we will be opening new stores in the coming months, and you are welcome to apply for employment there as well.”
He praised the dedication, hard work, and commitment of the employees of the company throughout the years saying their contributions had been invaluable while expressing Shoprite’s gratitude for the value they had brought to the team. He assured that as the company navigated this transition with the affected workers, it would ensure that the process was as seamless as possible for everyone involved. “In the upcoming days and weeks, we will provide you with more information regarding severance packages and other vital details,” he added.
Despite the current challenges faced by retail businesses in Nigeria, the company has pledged its long-term commitment to remain in Nigeria while expressing confidence that the economic policy options currently pursued by the Federal Government will yield long term results that will provide the enabling environment for the retail business to thrive in Nigeria.