Business

Shoprite still to open 28 out of 231 unrest-hit stores - some will never operate again

Business Insider SA
Shoprite plans to reopen more unrest affected stores in the 2023 financial year.
Shoprite plans to reopen more unrest affected stores in the 2023 financial year.
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  • Grocery retailer Shoprite still has almost 30 stores closed since they were affected by the riots during the July protests of 2021.
  • Overall, 231 stores were impacted, and the retailer has managed to get most of its affected stores back into operation.
  • Nine supermarkets will not reopen, the retailer has said.
  • Despite challenges, Shoprite grew sales by 11.9% to R168 billion.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Africa’s largest retailer Shoprite plans to reopen its supermarkets that suffered damage during the 2021 July unrest by July 2023.

Across the group, 231 stores were affected by the widespread rioting that took place mostly in KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of Gauteng.

During the July 2021 protests that lasted over a week, more than 200 malls were looted and vandalised, wiping out billions in rands.

Its core supermarket business and liquor shops were the hardest hit, with a combined 189 stores affected. A total of135 supermarkets and 54 liquor stores were looted - 31 remain closed.

The retailer moved to close nine of the affected stores permanently, it said in its trading update for the year through to the start of July.

The remaining stores the retailer has scheduled to open in its current financial year include two large format Checkers Hyper outlets, it said.

Despite the challenges brought on by the July unrest protests, the retailer added 127 more stores, growing its network to 2,476. During the reporting period, 117 were opened in the superrmarket division and grew overall sales by 11.9% to R168 billion.

 Its South African supermarkets grew sales by 12.6% to R133.9 billion, Shoprite said.

Domestic liquor sales increased 44.5%, boosted by the lockdown alcohol prohibitions.

In its furniture division, which houses the OK Furniture and House & Home brands, the July protests resulted in the closure of 35 stores, with five remaining closed due to precautionary measures. Its store base, however, was increased by five stores, growing the network to 426.

Shoprite said sales for the furniture unit, which contributed 3.7% to group sales, dropped 1.4% for the year.

A total of six stores were reopened for its other operating segments that house the OK franchise, MediRite Pharmacies, and Computicket. The retailer decided to close one store in that division permanently. 

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