Spar opens shop in Nigeria; Shoprite not fazed

International retail network, Spar, has opened its first outlet in Nigeria according to a report in Business Day.

Spar has partnered with Nigerian retail chain Park ‘n’ Shop, owned by the Artee Group.

Bloomberg Businessweek earlier reported that Park ‘n’ Shop signed an agreement to operate the Spar licence in Nigeria.

Spar’s first supermarket is located at Lekki in Lagos. According to reports, Spar plans to open similar outlets in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Otta in Ogun State.

Park ‘n’ Shop chairman, Solomon Onafowokan, was quoted in Business Day saying: “We believe that consumers outside the main cities will also enjoy great international experience in shopping and of course, get great value.”

“Nigeria is witnessing the emergence of organised retailing across the length and breadth of the country,” he added.

Spar will no doubt be competition for Shoprite, the South African-based retailer with significant expansion plans for Nigeria.

“The Spar entry into Abuja and Port Harcourt and those places – they’ve done a deal with a very small group that really has very, very small stores, where they are going to trade under the Spar banner. So it’s not as if World War III has started,” said Shoprite CEO, Whitey Basson, in an interview with Moneyweb.

“We are going very well in Nigeria, but obviously we go for a different model. We go for big stores, and that involves real first-world shopping. We are not into that little corner café type of operation. But obviously Spar and the people in the rest of the world would follow. It took our opposition 20 years to follow with a warehouse, so there’s no reason why Spar won’t open a big store in the next five or ten or fifteen years. It’s just a question of how they manage them. It’s very difficult for franchise operations,” Basson commented.