South African supermarket chain, Shoprite, says it is considering discontinuing its operations in Nigeria.
The retail giant which entered the Nigerian market in 2005, said it will consider to “sell all, or a majority stake” of its retail operations in the West African country.
In a statement released on Monday detailing its 2019 financial year that ended in June, the company said the decision was made “following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the group’s operating model in Nigeria”.
It added that “Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year.”
Shoprite said lockdown restrictions because of coronavirus had impacted its operations in 14 African countries were sales declined by 1.4%, but its South African operations witnessed “significant growth”.
The retailer has also been battling currency-induced inflation surges especially in Nigeria were it was hit hardest.
South African retailers have struggled in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, and if it leaves, Shoprite will join clothing outlets – Mr Price and Woolworths who exited the West African country after failing to get a foothold.
Last year, some branches of the supermarket in Nigeria were targeted as young people, allegedly motivated by a need for revenge, and fuelled by fake videos and photos of xenophobic attacks on social media, started looting and burning South African businesses.