Kanyama is a city situated about six kilometres southwest of Lusaka. Group chief executive officer, Ram Ottapathu said the 1,000 square metre Choppies Enterprises Limited branded store
will operate on the established group’s business model of strong price competition and quality branded shopping experience. The retailer plans to open five more stores in Zambia in the 2015/16 financial year.
Ottapathu stated Zambia has a forecast population growth of 3.3 percent each year until 2019, one of the highest on the African continent, but has a relatively low formal retail penetration.
“We plan to roll out a significant number of stores in the Zambian market in the medium term with the help of local partnerships and an efficient supply chain that allows us to be very price competitive,” he said. “Zambia is currently an underserved market that overtime should become a significant part of the Choppies footprint.”
The opening of the Zambian outlet brings to 144 the total number of Choppies stores operated across Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Zambia. Being a Botswana-based mass grocery retailer, the group is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and has a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
The group is the largest, most profitable and fastest-growing grocery retailer. in Africa, outside of South Africa domiciled retailers. It is positioned to grow its market share in southern and eastern Africa and to expand the footprint to 200 stores in six countries by the end of 2016.
Choppies targets primarily lower to middle-income market, but is increasingly attracting upper-middle income customers in Botswana. Its supermarket retail offering includes leading international food brands and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) as well as Choppies’ own private label products, with a strong focus on service offerings such as fresh fruit and vegetables, butchery, bakery and take-away.
The company competes with South African retailers such as Shoprite Holdings, Wal-Mart Stores-owned by Massmart Holdings and Pick ‘n Pay Stores that are also opening stores across the continent. Choppies Enterprises Limited has no plans to expand beyond sub-Saharan Africa, Ottapathu said.
“In South Africa, it’s very competitive,” he said. “But we have been competing in Botswana with these other chains, so we are used to it.”
Meanwhile, the group posted a 19 percent increase in revenue in the financial results for the year ended 30 June 2015. Profit after tax grew by 11 percent in the same period. Choppies revenue increased to P5.9 billion at group level while profits reached P197 million.
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