Shoprite’s African expansion hit by lack of investment in property

South Africa-based retailer Shoprite Holdings’ expansion into the rest of Africa was over the past year hampered by a lack of investment in retail space.

Commenting on the group’s results for the 53 weeks ended June 2010, CEO Whitey Basson said: “Growth in store numbers slowed due to a lack of foreign investment in property development in Africa.”

Basson said that as a consequence, only four new supermarkets were opened outside of South Africa during the reporting period, bringing the number of stores outside South Africa to 124.

The situation is, however, set to improve over the next year. “The pace of new store openings is expected to quicken in the new financial year with a total of 13 outlets being planned,” Basson said.

According to its website, The Shoprite Group of Companies operates 1166 corporate and 270 franchise outlets in 16 countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.