Choppies Enterprises Limited (BSE:CHOPPIES), a Botswana-based supermarket chain with operations in Zimbabwe, South Africa and its base country, has recently announced that it will open a total of 75 stores in Tanzania and two other countries in the Sub-Saharan region.
The expansion will start with the opening of 30 stores through June, 2016 and will finish with an additional of 45 stores between new ones and acquisitions by December, 2016 seeking to increase Choppies’s market share in the region.
According to Bloomberg, the expansion will bring the total number of Choppies’s stores to 200 and it aims at taking advantage of the switch by shoppers to stores from outdoor markets due to rising household incomes and economic growth in Tanzania and Sub Saharan Africa.
Tanzania’s household final consumption expenditure, a measure of the household income, has improved from 3.2% annual growth in 2008 to 4.5% in 2014 while the Sub Saharan region has done so from 2.9% to 3.3% in the same period according to World Bank statistics.
This is why Choppies has no plans to expand beyond the Sub Saharan region were the company’s main competitors as Shoprite Holdings Limited (JSE:SHP) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) are also expanding its operation seeking higher market share, explained Choppies CEO Ram Ottapathu.
With 134 stores and 7 distribution centres, Choppies is the leading supermarket chain in Botswana and the largest and fastest growing grocery retailer in Africa, outside of South Africa.
Choppies’ primary listing is on the Botswana Stock Exchange. In May 2015 the grocery retailer listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE:CHP) in the Food Retailers and Wholesalers sector.