South African-owned retail giant, Shoprite, has edged closer to leaving Nigeria after it sold 100% equity stake of its Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Ltd subsidiary.
In August 2020, Shoprite announced it would stop operations in Nigeria, citing re-evaluation of its model of operations as the reason.
The company announced in its latest financial report that the terms of sale have been concluded, and what remained was the approval of the Nigerian Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
According to Shoprite, the transaction is expected to be approved by the end of 2021 financial year after which it will pull out from Africa’s largest market after 16 years.
Despite the imminent exit, Shoprite said it was in the process of reaching a franchise agreement for the Shoprite brand to remain in Nigeria.
Part of the agreement will include administration and services agreement to offer support to the new shareholders that will operate the outlets.
Recently, Shoprite employees engaged in industrial strike action, and picket some of the retailer’s outlets in the country to protest against its exit.
Other demands made by the protesting workers include paying off workers and not transferring them to new owners without their consent.
While responding, the company instructed the protesters to come back to work immediately or face dismissal.
A memo which was signed by Divisional Human Resources Manager, Adeola Kagho, admonished the protesters to protest in line with the established internal company procedures to press home their demands.