Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Choppies targets more provinces as it opens new store in SA

Choppies, the BSE listed retail giant, is on a mission to expand the number of its stores South Africa.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana-based company, Ramachandran Ottapathu, told The Telegraph that they will be opening two stores in the Limpopo Province in the coming two months.

The company said one store will be opened end of March in Lephalle and the other one in Mercado end of April.

Ottapathu said that they are now penetrating new markets in Limpopo and shifting the focus from North West where they now have around ten Choppies retail outlets.

The latest addition to the North West was officially opened last week on Friday in Delareyville and employs around 90 people.

He said that they have been focusing on the North West Province because there is a business opportunity. He added that other than the business opportunities the North West Province is quite close to Botswana and “basically we are just one people who speak the same language and we are only separated by the border line”.

Commenting on the issue of competition, Ottapathu said that Choppies faces the same challenges in South Africa that are similar to Botswana.

The retailer’s main competitors this side and in South Africa are the retail groups Shoprite and Pick and Pay, which sells products that are similar to theirs.

In total, Choppies in South Africa employs around 800 people while in Botswana it employs around 3 900 people and has 49 stores with a plan to expand and open seven more by June this year. Choppies is the largest chain supermarket in Botswana.

The store recently listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) in January this year after it received approval from BSE to float 1.2 billion shares on the domestic main board and 25.5 percent of Choppies is now in the hands of the public.

The company cited that listing with the BSE is a demonstration of the retail store’s commitment to the development of a broader African economy.

Asked on Choppies plans to list with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Ottapathu would not divulge further details and said that “I do not have the mandate to discuss that information.”

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.