Mega pan African retailer Choppies continued its trailblazing foray into the continent with the recent acquisition of retail stores owned by Jwayelani Retail (Proprietary) Limited. The retail stores were acquired in South Africa following approval by the Competition Commission on January 29 2016.
According to Choppies, Jwayelani is a respected brand in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces, which has been in operation for over 25 years. The acquisition broadens Choppies’ South African footprint to 61 stores and 170 stores across all markets in four countries namely Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Hardly a year ago Choppies boasted of 121 stores across Africa, which at the time excluded its footprint in Kenya. Now at 170, Choppies has increased its African footprint with an additional 49 stores within a very short time.
Choppies’ presence in South Africa has increased by 30 stores to 61. Out of this number, the Jwayelani acquisition accounts for 21 stores representing a total 19 600 sqm of retail space in urban and semi-urban locations. This sizeable increase confirms the pledge made by Choppies to amass an unprecedented regional presence that will cement its position as a retail giant in Africa.
Choppies highlighted in its announcement that the Jwayelani acquisition will support further expansion across South Africa, given the inherent scale benefits and additional logistical support infrastructure. The acquired stores will be rebranded ‘Choppies-Jwayelani.’ The new retail shops will also boost Choppies’ financial position, which will be leveraged through its butchery value chain into South African operations, anticipated to contribute 40-50 percent of revenue. Choppies opened its foray into Africa with a nimbleness that surprised pundits, with some saying the retail giant will run out of steam and slow down with the passing of time. But there is no indication that Choppies will slow down anytime soon and the mega retailer seems to be gaining momentum as it spreads its footprint throughout the continent. Choppies Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ramachandran Ottapathu backed this solid expansion with a bold statement that: “The acquisition offers a unique advantage to Choppies in its plans to expand across South Africa. Jwayelani is known for its strong brand presence, proximity to the customer, and unparalleled knowledge of their market, which makes for a natural fit within Choppies.”